Vandals on the rampage, again

We’ve vented about graffiti/tagging vandalism before, but it’s reaching critical mass again. The latest “last straw” is an ugly tag on one of the charming Luna Park signs near the Avalon business area that’s taken on that historic name. Then there’s the ongoing saga of West Seattle’s once-fabled murals; taggers hit the one at the post office in The Junction (just part of the semi-disrepair the murals have fallen into, as Warren Lawless lamented in this recent‚ column). Finally, an e-mail tip says paint-equipped vandals have hit Lafayette Elementary repeatedly in recent weeks; not only is this kind of attack a needless hassle and expense for cash-strapped schools, but a parent points out, it also frightens the kids. Who is doing this and why can’t they be stopped?

10 Replies to "Vandals on the rampage, again"

  • gina April 27, 2007 (8:02 pm)

    Someone keeps tagging the glass block windows of the Christian Science Reading room on Oregon St. There are bars over the windows. Some lovely soul with the tag “freeze” has been working hard, from the vending machines at Admiral Safeway, down to the Junction.

    Lafayette has those solid projections above all the classroom windows. To get on the roof, taggers need only boost themselves to the projection, and from there they can climb the chainlink of the old playcourt and swing to the roof. Or on Lander they can climb the utility cage chainlink. No lighting in either area, so if dark clothing is worn they can work unseen.

  • Johnston April 27, 2007 (8:06 pm)

    Several recent tagging incidents on the grounds of Westside School / Explorer West in Westwood. Very sad.

    And I’m not even going to start about the abandoned gas station at 30th & Roxbury!

  • The House April 27, 2007 (8:34 pm)

    We can simply hang pictures of Groucho over any tags.

    If I ever catch one of these kids tagging around Westwood you’ll be able to tell who he/she is. They will be the one with the spraypainted mouth and an aluminum can sticking out their rear.

  • Mike April 28, 2007 (7:04 am)

    I am with you 100% House.

  • miws April 28, 2007 (7:56 pm)

    On the seemingly rare occasion, that any of these taggers are caught, I’d like to see some pretty severe punishment doled out.

    I definitely am opposed to being let off with a warning, or some other “slap on the wrist” type punishment, however, when the city will possibly fine the property owner up to $100.00 a day for not removing grafitti from their property, then the perp needs to get a helluva worse punishment than the victim.

    Why should the victim be punished for some idiot tagger’s crime? Especially those victims that don’t have the resources and/or physical ability to keep ahead of the tagging?

    I suppose locking a tagger up for 60-90 days would result in cries of other, more sereious crimes not getting as harsh of a punishment, so how about heavy fines? Okay the tagger might not have alot of money, so how about some hard core Community Service? Cleaning out storm drains, picking dog crap in the parks, litter pick-up/sweeping city sidewalks etc.


  • david April 28, 2007 (8:59 pm)

    I can’t believe the post office on California Avenue hasn’t found a way to obliterate the tag that has been on that mural for way too long. Sure, it may deface the mural. But at least the punk who thought it was great to tag there won’t have the pleasure of seeing his handiwork on it any longer. Why have they allowed that to remain for what seems like close to a year?

  • Ms_F April 28, 2007 (10:01 pm)

    I was wondering exactly the same thing about the post office mural! There are lots of artists in West Seattle. Don’t you think if they put out a call for volunteers to restore the mural, that they could find plenty of takers? If my life wasn’t in chaos, I would volunteer to restore the tagged portion myself! (I haven’t painted much since art school years ago, but I’m sure I could improve what’s there now.) Don’t you think we could find donations from West Seattleites for leftover house paint and get the darn thing repaired? Doesn’t anybody care?

  • Jan April 29, 2007 (2:24 am)

    A few hundred hours of community service might do the trick. Maybe include in that restoring everything that they tagged to it’s original condition….

  • gina April 29, 2007 (7:05 am)

    The majority of taggers in north West Seattle are middle school males, grades 6-8. From the local public middle schools. With a few pre driving age high school kids. Tagging is a catch and release crime. The group that was caught at the Junction cried and tattled on their friends tagging up and down the alleys in the area. “Why, boo-hoo, are you picking on meeee-that guy down there has mooore cans, boooo-hooo.”

    They were stuck with a squad car full of sobbing, pants peeing kids, squealing on each other left and right.

    And what could the police do other than take names and try to call parents? Nothing, because that is the law, and because of their age.

    And I bet a JaK’s steak that every parent contacted said later that it wasn’t Jr., he was just there with his friends, he was only holding the paint pens, etching acid and spray can. The police shouldn’t hassle children, and that they are filing official complaints.

  • Chet April 30, 2007 (11:01 am)

    Amen House man.

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