October 31, 2004 in Idaho

Two arrested in vandalism

Associated Press
 

BOISE — Two men were arrested in connection with the vandalism of a human rights memorial, and police said more arrests could follow.

Jared Scott McCusker, 20, of Nampa, and Jay Patrick O’Leary, 22, of Boise, face felony charges of malicious injury to property. If convicted, each could be fined $1,000 and sent to prison for as many as five years.

The men are accused of spray-painting graffiti along the Boise Greenbelt Wednesday night, including the outside walls of the Anne Frank Memorial.

Investigators said they do not believe the graffiti was gang- or hate-related.

“Typically they’re in competition with other groups; they try to outdo each other,” Interim Boise Police Chief Jim Tibbs said.

Police credited the arrests to tips from residents.

“If you want to have an example of community-oriented policing at work, this is exactly what it is,” Tibbs said.

City park employees removed nearly all of the graffiti, and employees of the Idaho Human Rights Education Center and Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau set up a fund to help cover the cost, estimated at about $1,500.

“This outraged the police department and it outraged the community,” Tibbs said.

Police said they have witnessed an increase in graffiti, particularly in the past six weeks.

“We hope to have put a major dent to this,” Tibbs said.

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