Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 1, 2013

Recreational Center marred by vandalism

By CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

GREEN VALLEY — A local recreational center utilized by area youth and their families has been defaced by a group of vandals.

The Green Valley Recreational Center in Ceres was vandalized sometime between Saturday night and Monday morning. The vandals used black spray paint with messages ranging from “crack head” to “cop killer” emblazoned across the building, according to Lt. Joe Parks of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.

Parks said damage to the building is estimated at $1,500, which makes the crime a felony destruction of property offense.

“It’s just a shame that somebody does something for the community, and a couple of people decide to make a real bad statement to the good people who use it,” Parks said. “Very disappointing. It’s there for the youth to use, and not in this way. It’s kind of a slap in the face for the property owner.”

Parks said some “very rough language” was spray painted across about 35 to 40 yards of the building.

Parks said the owner of the building is offering a reward for anyone who can provide information that would lead to the arrest of the individuals responsible for the crime.

Anyone with information regarding the graffiti is asked to call the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department at 304-487-8364. Tips can be made anonymously if the caller desires.

Police believe more than one individual is responsible for the vandalism. Evidence was recovered from the scene of the crime.

Parks said an individual convicted on a felony destruction of property charge could face both jail time and a significant fine.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com