Downtown Nacogdoches Vandalized - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

09/16/06 - Nacogdoches

Downtown Nacogdoches Vandalized

by Donna McCollum

Downtown Nacogdoches takes pride in its historic buildings, so when  the old brick walls get painted with graffiti, business operators get angry. As many as nine downtown businesses are vandalized with graffiti. The words are hard to make out, but the damage is very apparent.

John Sloane owns three of the buildings covered with the permanent paint.   "I'm not too happy about it. We've spent a lot of time and money trying to keep Nacogdoches clean, and we really don't like people coming out here trashing it. I wish whoever it is would come clean the mess up," said Sloane after talking to police.

Officers began taking the complaints as downtown business owners arrived to work. After a quick patrol, police found markings on traffic light boxes and street poles. Some drawings were done in building corners, well out of sight of any passing motorist or pedestrian. But one on the old Main Theater was out in the open and required effort by the artist who had to climb to the  roof of Goodwill.    

Business operator Joan Taylor said, "I don't think people have respect for other people's property is what it boils down to. It's not attractive. They need to find out who did it and come and get it off the walls."

Resident Ann Norton suggests what she saw during a recent trip to Philadelphia. People who are arrested for graffiti are required to create appealing murals. "They capitalize on their talent for their punishment, and I'm sure that the ones that did this have talent, but I think they probably have it in the wrong direction. So we need to put it a little bit in the right direction," said Norton.

Right now, police have no suspects, and it's difficult to pinpoint if it's the work of gang members. If caught, they'll be facing misdemeanor to felony charges and a lot of explaining to downtown residents.

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