GREENVILLE – Police are seeking the public’s help in catching a vandal who has been tagging buildings in Greenville City Park since at least May.
As reported earlier this year by The Daily Advocate, Person Centered Services (PCS), a local nonprofit that works with developmentally disabled individuals, posted to their Facebook page in May asking park patrons for help identifying a vandal. PCS members had recently restored the Roundhouse building in Greenville City Park and were using it to sell snacks and other concessions to raise funds for the organization. Within days of the Roundhouse reopening, however, workers found it had been marked by graffiti.
“Greenville, we need your help!” PCS posted. “Vandals have already struck the Round House in the City Park. PCS individuals spent weeks bringing the building back to life. If you see suspicious activity PLEASE call 548-1103 and report it.”
Photos of the Roundhouse graffiti show single words, often misspelled, written in black and purple marker, with small ovals hovering over the second or third letter.
Now, five months later, similar graffiti has shown up at the park’s newly constructed bandshell.
According to Sgt. Mitch Raffel of the Greenville Police Department, graffiti found on North and South Broadway Street, on the bandshell, and other locations in the city park matches the M.O. of the suspect who defaced the Roundhouse in May. The vandal typically uses black spray paint or marker, and often signs his or her work with the word “Smore.”
As pictured, graffiti from the Roundhouse incident contains the words “Ghost,” “Behed,” and “Khaos,” all with the trademark circle above the middle letters.
Last Friday, similar graffiti was found on doors inside the newly constructed bandshell.
“We thought it might be juveniles, as young people are often associated with this kind of vandalism,” Sgt. Raffel said. “But it doesn’t appear to have slacked off since the school year started. We’ve been trying to find timelines as to when the graffiti is being left, but we’re really going to need the citizens’ help with this one.”
Vandalism has been a consistent issue in the park for some time. Recently, it was reported that a woman renting a shelter in the park found the structure to be “filthy, full of leaves, and covered in vulgar graffiti.” Another park patron claimed to have seen a young man jumping up and down on top of a beam in one of the shelters, apparently trying to break it.
Park manager Deb Fall reported at a recent monthly park board meeting that, while she washes the shelters every Friday afternoon to remove any graffiti, such issues inevitably crop back up over the weekends. Dumpsters and men’s restrooms are also heavy targets for vandalism, as are structures in the park’s track and pool areas.
The men’s restroom at the park, in particular, is reportedly often marred by new graffiti within 24 hours of previous markings being painted over. Broken glass has also been found strewn throughout the park, threatening visitors and pets with injury.
Like PCS, Sgt Raffel urged the public to contact police if they witness any acts of vandalism in the park.
“Be on the lookout,” Raffel said. “And call if you see anything suspicious.”
As noted above, concerned citizens can contact the Greenville Police Department by calling 937-548-1103.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. To join the conversation and get updates on Facebook, search Advocate360. For more features online, go to dailyadvocate.com
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