Talent police search for skate park vandal

TALENT — At least a half-dozen individuals watched a vandal spray paint 4-foot-tall letters in the smaller bowl at the skate park late Wednesday afternoon.

A video surveillance camera was watching, too.

"It's an issue of self-policing to keep the place open," said Mike Moran, interim Talent police chief. "Obviously, this is a solvable one. I'm just amazed that no one walked across the street to report it."

The vandal used spray-paint cans to write "SAGE" in red with black outlines. The graffiti was done between 4:10 and 4:40 p.m. at the park, which is on Main Street across from City Hall.

"He skated around for a while, then stopped and spray-painted, then skated around and left," said Moran. "There are at least six skaters looking down into the bowl (as he was painting)."

A public works employee cleaned up the vandalism Thursday. The park will be closed until Nov. 6 and anyone using it will be cited for trespassing, Moran said. Notices of the closure will be posted and the gates will be locked.

The male in the video is white, between 16 to 24 years old, about 5 feet, 8 inches to 6 feet tall and of average build. He wore a black helmet, black pants or jeans and a red T-shirt with white letters or numbers on the front.

"The lettering says "ES" or maybe numbers in a strange font," said Moran. "We can't really pick them out."

Those watching the vandalism appear to be mostly males. Surveillance also shows an additional three or four people sitting elsewhere in the park during the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call 776-7206.

Beer bottles were thrown around at the park during the summer, but this is the first graffiti incident since Moran's appointment in August, he said.

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboom8929@charter.net.

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