Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 11, 2013

Unacceptable

Graffiti vandals must be prosecuted


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — The senseless act of graffiti vandalism over the weekend that targeted homes, vehicles and even a church in Bluefield is unacceptable. All efforts must be made to locate those individuals responsible for the shameful property defacement. And they must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Particularly alarming was the vandalism of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Bluefield where words such as “Satan” and various other expletives were spray painted across the back of the church. In other instances, happy faces, dollar signs and other unwanted messages were painted on cars, backyard fences, sheds and outbuildings in an alley between College Avenue and Albemarle Street as well as on Cumberland Road and Washington Avenue.

Police say that juveniles are most likely to blame for the vandalism spree. But, juvenile or adult, whoever is responsible for this shameless act must be held accountable for their actions.

No one should have to wake up to find their home, vehicles or property vandalized. And the same goes for the parishers of the Trinity United Methodist Church, who did nothing to deserve such a deplorable act of vandalism to their place of worship.

Eddie Anderson, a parishioner at the church, spent much of the weekend trying to rid the church walls of graffiti before Sunday services.

“There was profane language all around the church,” Anderson told the Daily Telegraph Saturday. Anderson said he had spent $40 for chemicals to help remove the dirty language off the church’s brick walls, but paint would be needed to cover other graffiti on church outbuildings.

And Pat Carfley was in town over the weekend from Pennsylvania to visit relatives in Bluefield, but he instead found himself spending much of the weekend working to remove the graffiti.

“We scrubbed off some offensive material from the church,” Carfley said. “I hope they catch who did this and make them scrub it off with a toothbrush. This was bad.”

Carfley, Anderson and other concerned citizens who labored over the weekend to try to remove the unwanted graffiti are to be applauded for their actions. Those who are responsible for the vandalism could learn a lot from these individuals. Instead of defacing your community, why not do something constructive instead? Why not help clean up your community or neighborhood instead of harming it?

The incident remains under investigation by the Bluefield Police Department. City Manager Jim Ferguson said the vandals will be prosecuted. He says the city will do everything in its power to locate the offenders, and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

We would expect nothing less. The only way to prevent a repeat of such shameful behavior is to find those who are responsible and make sure they pay to the fullest extent of the law.