NYC Doctor Charged After Reportedly Destroying Elderly Neighbor’s Columbus Statue

By: ISDA Staff

A Mt. Sinai doctor, Sean Morrison, has been charged with petit larceny after he allegedly destroyed his elderly’s neighbor’s Christopher Columbus statue, the New York Post reports.

As John Cartafalsa, 91, walked into his New York City apartment building lobby in late June, after spending months hunkered down in Florida due to the pandemic, he happened to see the 15-inch statue at Morrison’s feet (seen below):

Cartafalsa said the statue was a gift from a Sicilian-born relative to honor his law school graduation in 1957, and that he had placed it in the lobby’s alcove 30 years ago.

Morrison and Cartafalsa exchanged words, and the statue was returned to the alcove.

However, two days later the statue was gone again and surveillance footage revealed it was Morrison who took it.

According to the Post, Morrison offered this written apology weeks after the incident:

“I am writing to apologize for the removal of your statue from our building lobby and for not discussing this with you more thoroughly than at our brief conversation when you returned from Florida. While not an excuse, I had had a particularly difficult day as we watched 10 patients die of COVID that afternoon on our palliative care unit and in the setting of George Floyd’s murder my emotions overcame my logical thought.”

Morrison is due in court on Dec. 8.

Cartafalsa is now suffering from gall bladder issues, and is in the Mt. Sinai ICU.

Editor’s note: While the Post points to “cancel culture” as a possible motivation for Morrison’s alleged crime, we at ISDA decided to share this story because it reflects how some have conflated U.S. racial injustice with the Genovese explorer who died 500 years ago. Please read our latest Columbus Day coverage, and learn how Colorado residents are working on a solution between the Italian American community and anti-Columbus protesters.

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