Date: May 30, 2018


SANTA ANA, Calif. – With Memorial Day just behind us, I am pleased to announce the Orange County District Attorney’s Office has filed felony vandalism charges with a gang enhancement against Eric Alan Cabrera Mora, a criminal street gang member, who is accused of defacing the “Among Heroes” veteran’s mural you see behind me.

This meaningful work of art honors the U.S. military service of nearly 200 Mexican-American heroes who grew up right here in Santa Ana. Many of these brave men and women gave up their lives while fighting for the very freedoms we enjoy every day.

I am Mexican-American. I am a veteran. And I take pride in both my heritage and my service to my country. The act of defacing this beautiful mural disrespected the heroes who made Santa Ana and Orange County proud by defending our country.

Gang members by tagging, not only commit a crime against the victim by damaging their property, but against the community as the damage is intended to strike fear throughout the entire neighborhood. Vandalizing this mural was a senseless and cowardly act and it is important that as a community, we continue to send a strong message that we will not tolerate vandalism or any form of gang activity in our neighborhoods.

I am honored to be here today to take a stand against those who wish to degrade the hard work of local business owners and residents whose communities suffer from these brazen crimes. I commend the city of Santa Ana, the Santa Ana Police Officers Association, the Santa Ana Arts and Culture Commission, and Mayor Pro Tem Michele Martinez, who all quickly banded together and helped raise the funds necessary to commission the original artist to restore this mural back to its original condition, work which is on-going.

To speak more on how that came together is Council Member Juan Villegas from the city of Santa Ana, who will be followed by Santa Ana Police Chief David Valentin, afterwards we will have a few minutes to answer questions.

That concludes the time we have available – thank you for joining us today.