Public and private property hit
By Michael Turton
Cold Spring Police have arrested three suspects in connection with an outbreak of graffiti in several village locales late Saturday night (Aug. 9) and into Sunday morning (Aug. 10).
In a press release issued Wednesday (Aug. 13), CSPD Officer-in-Charge George Kane said that a 17-year-old (male) has been charged with making a false written statement and making graffiti. Two 16-year-olds (males) were also charged with making graffiti. Both charges are Class A misdemeanors. The suspects were arraigned and will appear in Cold Spring Justice Court on Oct. 8. Their names cannot be released because they are minors.
Kane commended CSPD Officers Greg Walz, Ed Boulanger and Gary Marino for their work that led to the arrests.
A new level of vandalism?
Graffiti has been a problem in Cold Spring for years, however the most recent spray-can painting spree may have crossed the line into a more serious and far more extensive display of vandalism.Residents awoke Sunday morning to a rash of graffiti on both public and private property that went well beyond the pedestrian tunnel and other locations that have been defaced numerous times in the past.
Much of the damage was centered near Main Street on both sides of the tracks. Graffiti was sprayed onto two vents on the roof above the Ellen Hayden Downtown Gallery. A small sign was stolen from the exterior of Bijou Galleries. The pedestrian tunnel was hit, as was the bridge over the Metro-North tracks.
Near the approaches to the bridge, sidewalks, a rock outcrop and a number of traffic signs were defaced. The concession building and picnic tables at Mayor’s Park were also hit as was a car and Foodtown.
Vandals may have left their signature
On Monday (Aug. 11), The Paper spoke with two contacts who asked not to be named. One said that the vandalism is believed to be the work of persons known for having painted graffiti within the village in the past and that their personal “tags” are evident in the weekend outbreak.
The letters “SK” can be clearly seen in at least two of the weekend graffiti sites, including the rooftop. The contact provided the first names of two alleged offenders to The Paper, which in turn gave them to the CSPD. The second contact said beer had been consumed and a chair broken on his/her porch on the night of the graffiti binge. A credit card receipt for the purchase of beer was left at that scene and was handed over to CSPD.
While some consider graffiti to be an art form, artistic merit was not obvious in the latest spate of spray-can vandalism.
The cause of vandalism, including graffiti, is far from crystal clear. In his article on CleanLink.com titled Graffiti Psychology: Why Vandals Strike, Benjamin F. Walker quoted clinical psychologist Dr. Jeffery Chase who said, “… many people, especially children and adolescents, will often resort to vandalism in order to vent. Vandalism to me is basically anger.”
Chase added that while individuals tend to vandalize because of anger, groups often do it for social reasons. “There is that socialization quality of trying to fit in, be involved in the gang, and be accepted,” Chase said.
Photos by M. Turton