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CLAYTON, Mo. – A 24-year-old man has been charged for defacing an African-American mural at Washington University by spraypainting messages from a white supremacist group, according to St. Louis County. Mitchell Wagner was arrested in January. The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged him last week for the property damage. He was issued a summons.

The “Never-Ending Story” mural in the South 40 underpass depicts many famous African Americans. Several faces on the mural were painted over and stamped with the logo of a white supremacist group on December 18, 2021. The estimated cost to restore the mural is over $10,000.

“Property Damage 1st Degree is the appropriate criminal charge based on the statutes for this act of vandalism, though we know that defacing a mural honoring African Americans by tagging it with the name of a white supremacy group is supposed to send some kind of message,” states St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell. “Let me send my own message: this region embraces our diversity, and that unifying spirit is vastly more powerful than hate spewed with spray paint cans.”

Police say that surveillance video shows four people, including Wagner, vandalizing the mural. A license plate on a vehicle in the video matches one owned by Wagner.

Wagner’s employer identified him as a suspect in the video. Officers also spotted the vehicle parked in his driveway.

The felony charge could land Wagner in jail for one to four years with a fine up to $10,000.