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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Pride crosswalk damaged hours after repaint; suspects arrested

A downtown street painting recognizing Spokane’s LGBTQ community was damaged mere hours after it was repainted due to previous vandalism.

Spokane police arrested three suspects Wednesday night they say skidded Lime scooters over the newly painted pride crosswalk and hurled homophobic slurs at those who witnessed it. Lime scooters were just reintroduced to Spokane a day prior after being absent since November due to contract terminations.

Among the suspects arrested on suspicion of first-degree malicious mischief are two unnamed minors and 19-year-old Ruslan Turko. According to court documents, witnesses at an Irish bar across the street watched the three ride over the rainbow-painted crosswalk and intentionally skid their tires while they confronted a man nearby and called him a slur.

Police obtained cell phone video from the witnesses and located the suspects nearby, 34 minutes after the first call to law enforcement, a press release from the department said.

The street art was repainted on April 29 from a previous vandalism in October. On May 16, it was defaced for a second time with fire. Painters crowded the area of Spokane Falls Boulevard Wednesday to repaint it once again, while music played in the background and passersby took photos.

The painting is one of 29 intersection installments in the Asphalt Art program through Spokane Arts, which has received funding of around $1 million diverted from the city’s traffic calming fund. The most recent paint job was funded with $15,000 raised and donated by community members.

The program intends to fund intersection makeovers in each of Spokane’s 29 neighborhoods and six additional crosswalks across the city. Each design can be different to the discretion of each community, said program Director Shelby Allison. The program is bolstered by fees collected through traffic violations captured with red light or school zone cameras.