A 22-year-old man has been charged after police say he climbed the National War Memorial in Ottawa and began "fornicating the statue."

Ottawa police said in a news release that bystanders watched the man climb the memorial around 11:30 p.m. ET Sunday at the intersection of Sparks and Elgin streets.

The man was arrested at the scene and charged with mischief, police said. He appeared in court on Monday.

This is the same memorial where Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was fatally shot last October while on guard.

Guarding the monument became an issue when a man was captured on camera urinating on the statue in 2006.

Sentries began guarding the war memorial during the daytime in response to that incident, which involved a man and two boys who were later sentenced to community service.

Sentries continue to watch the memorial but do not stand guard overnight.