ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - Landmarks at a St. Louis park have just been coated with graffiti.
The St. Louis Parks Director, Greg Hayes, called it a ‘disgrace’.
Authorities had a couple of messages for those behind it, Monday: first, it is a crime; second it is pointless; the graffiti will likely be gone within a day or two; so, rather than sending a message, it's nothing more than a stain on St. Louis treasures.
November fishing at the historic Carondelet Park Boathouse may never have been so good, Monday, as long as you didn’t look too closely at the Boathouse or the bandstand across the way.
Both had graffiti inside and out with the best views, trashed.
“It’s crazy to me,” said fisherman, Jerry Declue. “If you’re going to do something make it pretty. Don’t mess it up.”
“It’s really sad,” said park visitor Beth Rodgers. “I’ll just say we were disappointed when we saw it when we came down because we were coming down for pictures.”
She and her husband, Mike, came up from Jefferson County with their dogs along with a photographer they’d hired, for Christmas pictures.
They did work around the Boathouse graffiti; good thing they didn’t try the bandstand. Anyone planning a dance or family gathering would be sickened by the vandalism.
“That’s a disgrace for those folks to have be in the midst of this,” Hayes said. “It’s our job to rectify it. Hopefully some of these people get caught because we don’t want it to happen.”
Mike & Beth Rodgers: “I don’t understand what was their point. What did they actually write, I can’t see the relevance,” Mike Rodgers said. “It just lessens the place and tears down a beautiful place. This place has been good for a long time, why should it go down now, don’t do it now,” his wife said.
“It is a waste. We have 109 parks. They’re for people to do recreational activities. We’d rather have them doing that than these types of things, which is destruction of city property,” Hayes said.
This can be a serious offense. Police have sought felony charges for such crimes in the past.
The Operation Brightside agency has a $300,000 yearly budget from federal grants to combat graffiti. It's not enough to keep up, even though there were more than 3900 sites cleaned up last year.