A Massachusetts teenager has been charged with vandalizing a Holocaust memorial in Boston, in what the city’s police commissioner called a “senseless and shameful” act, particularly after the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va.

The Boston Police Department said the suspect, a 17-year-old from Malden, around six miles north of Boston, was seen on Monday night by witnesses throwing what appeared to be a rock at the New England Holocaust Memorial, an outdoor series of six 54-foot-high towers, each composed of multiple glass panels. A panel on one of the towers was shattered, the department said.

When the police arrived at the site just before 7 p.m., they arrested the teenager, who had been detained by two bystanders. He is charged with willful and malicious destruction of property, the police said. The department’s civil rights unit is investigating.

“Clearly, this type of behavior will not be tolerated in our city,” the police commissioner, William B. Evans, said in a statement. “And, in light of the recent events and unrest in Charlottesville, it’s sad to see a young person choose to engage in such senseless and shameful behavior.”

The suspect’s name was not released because he is under 18. On Tuesday, he entered a plea of not guilty during an arraignment in Boston Juvenile Court, said Renee Nadeau Algarin, a spokeswoman with the Suffolk County district attorney’s office. He was released on his own recognizance and was ordered to stay away from the memorial and to comply with mental health treatment, she said in a statement.

It was the second time this summer that the memorial had been damaged. In June, a 21-year-old man from Roxbury, Mass., James R. Isaac, was arraigned on charges of malicious destruction of property over $250 and willful damage to a church, synagogue or memorial. Prosecutors said at the time that Mr. Isaac had thrown an object at the monument, shattering one of its panels, after he got into an argument with a group of people.

The memorial was dedicated in 1995 in a ceremony on the steps of Boston City Hall Plaza. Its design, by the architect Stanley Saitowitz, was inspired by elements built around the number six — including for the six million Jews murdered by the Nazi regime, and the six years, 1939 to 1945, of the deadliest phase of the Holocaust.

Visitors to the monument can walk among the soaring towers, illuminated from below. The millions of numbers for the tattoos that were embedded on the arms of Holocaust victims are etched into the glass towers, and fall across the faces of visitors in shadow. “As visitors walk along this path, entering the towers, they are tattooed with the shadows of numbers, and trapped momentarily in a theater of horror,” the memorial’s website says.

The police did not specify a motive, but the vandalism in Boston came three days after the neo-Nazi and white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, in which neo-Nazis carried banners and flags with swastikas, used anti-Semitic terms and held their arms out in Hitler salutes.

Jewish organizations and civil rights groups have expressed concern and outrage over the rally in Virginia and its displays of racist and Nazi emblems. Israel’s official Holocaust memorial warned that Nazi ideology “was a precursor to the eventual murderous policy,” The Associated Press reported.

The Anti-Defamation League called on the White House to carry out a plan of action that “will ensure the kind of white supremacist violence and anti-Semitic and racist incitement witnessed in Charlottesville will not happen again.”

In Boston, Jeremy Burton, the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, which conducts educational programs at the New England Holocaust Memorial, said on Tuesday that the shattered glass had been swept up Monday night.

He said he had contacted Holocaust survivors and their relatives in the Boston area to inform them of the vandalism in what were “indescribably painful” conversations, particularly after seeing the public displays of Nazi support in Charlottesville, which he said he “never thought that in my own lifetime” he would see.

“Without speaking to the motive, I would say it is incredibly painful and frankly horrifying that we are seeing this series of events this summer, this disrespect of this sacred space,” he said in a telephone interview. Mr. Burton said this was a moment when “more than ever we need to remember the Holocaust for what it was and what it means.”