Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Trailhead restroom hut vandalized with graffiti

Heavy fine, prison likely if perpetrators found guilty

Express Staff Writer

An obviously outraged Ketchum District Ranger Kurt Nelson said Tuesday that defacing the Adams Gulch trailhead restroom hut with obscene graffiti "is like having your own home affronted."

Two sides of the unisex facility are virtually covered with blue and orange spray paint depicting a human head and male genitalia, plus vulgarities. The vandalism occurred late last week.

Nelson said removing and painting over the graffiti would be "very expensive."

He said the Forest Service's law enforcement officer would investigate, but thus far no leads on who defaced the structure have been developed.

As for penalties for anyone convicted of defacing federal property, Jean McNeil, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney in Boise, said that if damage exceeds $1,000, the penalty could be 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for defacing federal property. Under $1,000 damage and the penalty is one year in prison.

Graffiti in the Ketchum area has been sporadic, according to Ketchum Police Chief Cory Lyman. He said some graffiti has involved gang symbols, and one incident involved European anarchist symbols.

Incidents usually occur on weekends, he said.

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