John Moore

DENTON, Texas (AP) — Authorities are searching for three people who they say defaced a Confederate monument in North Texas with the words, "This is racist."

Surveillance video provided Monday by the Denton County sheriff's office shows two figures scaling the monument to spray-paint the words in red before fleeing with a third person.

The monument in Denton is an archway over a path leading to a city park. It's topped by a statue of a soldier and includes the words, "Our Confederate soldiers."

Authorities believe the vandalism occurred late Sunday or early Monday. Workers have cleaned the monument but a red stain remains.

The Denton Record-Chronicle reports that the Denton County Office of History and Culture says damage could exceed $50,000.