West Seattle Crime Watch: Yet more homophobic-graffiti vandalism

Over the past three months (starting again in September), we have reported more incidences of vandalism involving profane anti-gay slurs, usually appearing on business and park property in Morgan Junction and north of Lincoln Park. This morning, we have received reports indicating that the vandalism happened again multiple times overnight: Jim e-mailed to report the word “pedophile” (misspelled) painted on a business window south of Morgan Junction, which relates to the theme of the unprintable slur that has appeared most often. And we just received a report of vandalism on a private residence’s garage door along 42nd SW northeast of Morgan Junction, and that victim tells us the investigating officer confirmed multiple reports. To recap, the man who was arrested for this same type of vandalism earlier this year was charged, but the charges were dropped when he was found not competent to stand trial; while there’s been no declaration that he is definitely responsible for the latest incidents in the past few months, police have said they continue looking for him – no permanent address, apparently – to question him about what’s happened. At last month’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting (WSB coverage here), police were asked for a description; acting Community Police Team Sgt. Adonis Topacio said “white male, late 20s, early 30s, always looks stressed out” and an attendee said he was known to wear hoodies. Police also have reiterated that their best hope is for someone to see the vandalism as it happens and to call 911. We’re checking with the precinct again today to see if there’s anything new to share from their standpoint.

32 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Yet more homophobic-graffiti vandalism"

  • Greg December 7, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    There’s some non-sensical anti-gay graffiti at the eastbound bus stop at 51st and Admiral. Sounds like it may be related.

    • WSB December 7, 2009 (12:13 pm)

      Please report ANY graffiti you see to police – they stress this over and over again – definitely in this case, if the suspect is expanding beyond the general targeted area (Morgan Junction/north of Lincoln Park), as one of the cases we reported today indicates, people should be on the lookout all over West Seattle – TR

  • livingonthebeach December 7, 2009 (12:38 pm)

    I noticed some this morning and called the business to let them know. They enter from the back and weren’t aware of it on the side of their building.

    All in all, it looks like 5 or 6 businesses or houses this time. This is getting out of control. I hope we can all do something about this.

  • WriterOne December 7, 2009 (12:59 pm)

    there is nothing wrong with graffiti itself. its some of the people who are doing it. what they are writing and what they are writing on. racial slurs, homophobic slurs, cuss words etc. on peoples houses and personal property is not appropriate “graffiti”. that’s just plain vandalism. there is graffiti out there that is good and not worth having the cops get involved with. but i guess the normal eye couldn’t tell the difference.

  • JEM December 7, 2009 (1:01 pm)

    my boyfriend noticed some this morning just south of the junction at 4840 California

  • MJ December 7, 2009 (1:04 pm)

    Also some on an apartment building just south of the Alaska Junction on Calif Ave. Already reported. Walked by with my son and was glad that he can’t read yet.

  • mark December 7, 2009 (1:11 pm)

    Writerone, what are you saying? “there is nothing wrong with graffiti itself”? Are you kidding me? By all means, invite the nice taggers over to your house and let them get it out of their system. I was tagged recently and now keep a baseball bat at my back door. My wife prays if they ever come back again that I don’t catch them. For my sake.

  • miws December 7, 2009 (1:56 pm)

    So, WriterOne, non-vulgar graffiti is okay in public places, such as Lincoln Park and Alki?

    .

    Mike

  • Eliza December 7, 2009 (3:27 pm)

    I can understand what WriteOne means from one angle.

    In Paris there is a “graffiti artist” who paints on walls all over the city, pictures of people and short phrases. All are small and do minimal damage, and never to a building of historic significance. None of this is offensive or vulgar. The city even found the artist and offered her a space to paint in public that would be an “official” graffiti area.

    However, we are more accustomed, unfortunately to the more vulgar, disgusting and plain ugly graffiti which is not enjoyed or appreciated. This is the kind of graffiti which should not be tolerated or celebrated.

  • WriterOne December 7, 2009 (3:44 pm)

    what i’m saying is that the essence of Graffiti is not entirely bad nature. its the people who do it wrong or in the wrong place that give it a bad name. Eliza is right because of the way “society” views graffiti, everyone is more accustomed to seeing the negative side. the reason for this is that the city gets rid of the Graffiti that deserves respect and looks good so that common society wont build any sort of respect for it. the ugly, the cuss words, the racism stays. because it builds negativity around graffiti as a whole in society. without the 13 year old taggers and people doing garbage on peoples property there is some nice graffiti out there in the world..i COULD show you.

  • Dunno December 7, 2009 (3:45 pm)

    I’m around the North end of Lincoln Park, including Pea Patch, Tennis courts and have not seen him for at least 3 months. I would always see him in a green army colored coat, hood, white male about 5’11”, homeless looking guy who turns away from you and won’t talk. He used to work out in the tennis courts in a corner. Many times I’ve seen him carry a gallon of milk or plastic gallon milk bottle with water. I’m sure he used the area to live in, with porta potties and running water that has now been turned off for the winter. I tried several times to get SPD down to talk to him with no luck. (I have to see him commiting a crime). Not a good idea to confront this individual.

  • mark December 7, 2009 (3:49 pm)

    Eliza, what drugs are you on? Graffiti is graffiti is graffiti. If you don’t own the property its also vandalism. Throw in a few extras and its also a hate crime.

  • Eliza December 7, 2009 (4:37 pm)

    Thanks Mark. None actually, just offering an opinion and an anecdotal story pertaining to graffiti.

    I understand the way the law works, I am not condoning graffiti and certainly not in the case where it is crude and hateful, or on your personal property.

    To some, it is an art form worthy of display in galleries and exhibitions; to others it is merely vandalism

  • mark December 7, 2009 (4:59 pm)

    I prefer the Singapore solution. Caning. But that’s just me. (see Michael Fay)

  • Doc December 7, 2009 (6:00 pm)

    Dunno: Are you refering to the person that used to sleep in the grass halfway up to solstice park? Now that they finally gave a description I am wondering if that is the guy. I always hoped it was not him, but now who knows. I’m in the former blue house.

  • Emma Peel December 7, 2009 (7:59 pm)

    I noticed the hateful graffiti this afternoon on the east side of California, just south of Holly Street. I found it really upsetting, but had no idea who to call about it. I will keep my eyes open as I am walking my dog in the area several times a day…this guy needs to quit it!

  • kc December 7, 2009 (9:24 pm)

    C’mon “Writerone”, are you serious? Any graffiti is vandalism unless it is on their own personal property. I understand that there is an “art” to it, but thats what sketch pads are for. I personally hate all graffiti, even the very “best” and most artistic. How would you like it if I came over to your house and spray painted your house or car in a way that I think looks better to me, but you find ugly? No one has the right to graffiti or tag anything that is not their own property or designated for it!

  • bluebird December 7, 2009 (9:50 pm)

    Eliza, you’re not alone. I love graffiti art. And Mark, people commission these works, you have no idea what you’re talking about. “They should be caned”. Who thinks that way? Some artists are extremely well renowned and sought out. Check out the art section in a book store some time. Locally, have you ever stepped into Giannoni’s Pizza? Pretty damn cool wall.

    .

    As for defacing someone’s personally property with hate messages or gang tags, completely different action and very much a criminal act. I’m sorry to those affected and hope the person is stopped.

  • Dunno December 7, 2009 (9:52 pm)

    Doc,

    That’s the guy. I’ve called SPD but they said I have to see him writing. From these reports it looks like he’s moved on for the moment.

  • Art Critic December 7, 2009 (10:24 pm)

    Like good music some great art is born on the streets:

    Obama’s Poster artist (one of the best artists today started as a street artist)

    http://www.warhol.org/calendar/events_detail.php?eventID=1646&dateYear=2009&dateMonth=10&dateDate=17

    Some of the best I have seen is in Barcelona:

    http://www.barcelonastreetart.net/graffiti/graffiti.htm

    Seattle graffiti is rarely art; but if you look for it you can find it. Unfortunately then you have the punks who spew hate…

    By the way, this society allows folks with mental illness to fall into cracks and these are some of the ways we all pay, vandalism, violence and vitriol. Lets care for folks with mental illness, particularly homeless folks with mental illnesses. We should all be ashamed. I know I am. Dont get me started.

  • WriterOne December 7, 2009 (11:28 pm)

    obviously some of you didnt get the point i was trying to make. *cough* kc *cough*
    you hate all graffiti. even the most artistic? thats pretty sad. you need to learn to step outside the box. but hey, thats you. thats your view on it. hate, tho..really. sucks for you!! ;)

  • mark December 8, 2009 (6:50 am)

    Let me give you a little tip. If you have permission of the property owner, it’s art. If you don’t then it’s vandalism. Its tough to get permission to spread “art” on bridges and schools with permission. This whole thread was about vandalism and a potential hate crime. To try and defend those actions in any way is disgusting to all of us. Yes, I hate vandalism. Art, it will never be without the owners permission.

  • bluebird December 8, 2009 (1:00 pm)

    Mark, you’re the one who makes no distinction.

    .

    “Eliza, what drugs are you on? Graffiti is graffiti is graffiti.” “I prefer the Singapore solution. Caning. But that’s just me.”

    .

    Some of us do make a distinction between art and vandalism. Not sure how many ways people could state they totally agree that this current tagging, is wrong, hurtful, illegal, and should be punishable. How that could be considered condoning or defending is twisted logic to suit your angry outbursts. Please don’t offer me any more tips. Don’t need them from absolutists.

  • Westside J. December 8, 2009 (2:19 pm)

    Mark, you’re definetly missing the point writer and Eliza were making. But if you don’t get it you don’t get it. Even “with permission” there is a difference between graffiti as art and graffiti and garbage.

    Your ignorance doesn’t help anything.

  • mark December 8, 2009 (3:39 pm)

    I missed the point? It was a thread about graffiti as vandalism and graffiti as a hate crime. Its a nice way for others to deflect on a crime that plagues us all by pointing out that there is “good” graffiti. As a victim I am far from ignorant.

  • Jb December 9, 2009 (7:45 am)

    This is about the homophobic threats written all over our neighborhood. Get back on point please. I’m going to make phone calls to the west seattle precinct stressing my concern.
    206 733-9800

  • Westside J. December 9, 2009 (12:47 pm)

    I saw a three word phrase spray painted on the wall by the bustop on alaska by Jefferson square this morning.. That stuff sucks.

  • KBear December 9, 2009 (1:12 pm)

    Art is in the eye of the beholder, but if it’s done on public or private property without permission, it’s still vandalism.

  • 37Ray December 9, 2009 (2:52 pm)

    The art debate has zero to do with this topic folks… we are looking to nab a vandal with a spraycan shooting crap tags all over ‘da hood’ here… not debating the merits of highly sought after vandals with a spraycan and someone’s consent to create art… just sayin

  • Jb December 9, 2009 (10:06 pm)

    I called the west seattle precinct. They are actively looking for the same man who vandalized in the spring. They would love to find him. They expressed to me how concerned they were with this behavior but did not feel he is a physical threat. I was advised to call 911 if I see any suspicious activity.
    Was his photo ever posted on this blog?????

    • WSB December 9, 2009 (10:17 pm)

      We have reported previously that they are looking for him and also included a description in this report. We do not have a photo of him, nor is one publicly accessible unless he has served time in state prison, which I don’t believe to be the case (will recheck records, though). Since the charges were dropped in the previous case, we also are not naming him until/unless charges are filed, but we are continuing to follow this up daily with local police – TR

Sorry, comment time is over.

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann