Four charged after drawing obscenities with 'sidewalk chalk' - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Four charged after drawing obscenities with 'sidewalk chalk'

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A depiction of the Hiroshima bombing left on the sidewalk along with other images which were discovered in front of The Big Store on Main Street Wednesday morning. A depiction of the Hiroshima bombing left on the sidewalk along with other images which were discovered in front of The Big Store on Main Street Wednesday morning.
Sgt. Dorminey McCrae, Tifton Police Department Sgt. Dorminey McCrae, Tifton Police Department
Phil Perils, Store Owner Phil Perils, Store Owner
Some of the writing and images left in front of the Big Store on Wednesday morning Some of the writing and images left in front of the Big Store on Wednesday morning
TIFTON, GA (WALB) -

Four young people are accused writing vulgar language and offensive drawings on several businesses in downtown Tifton.  They're out of jail on bond tonight after being booked on misdemeanor charges.

One of the retailers that was defaced on Main Street has been in business for more than a century. 

The family owned business has dealt with vandalism before, but the owner says he's never seen something quite like this.

Pentagrams, vulgar language and depictions of the Hiroshima bombing are just some of the images that welcomed employees and patrons of The Big Store Wednesday morning.

"It was a shock!  Never have witnessed anything like this in downtown Tifton.  If you said downtown Detroit, I would have thought...well I can understand, but not downtown Tifton," said Phil Perils, Store Owner.

Letty's Boutique right next door and the Tift Theater across the street were also defaced.  But investigators said the suspects weren't specifically targeting these businesses.

"They told me they were bored, so they got some chalk.  And at first they were going to do some chalk drawings on their driveway, but decided not to and decided to go downtown," said Sgt. Dorminey McCrae, Tifton Police Department.

23-year-old William Alligood, 20-year-old Shaun O'Neil, 22 year-old Brittany Coffinberry and 20 year old Alexandra Googe were each arrested on two counts of Criminal Trespass.

"They told me they didn't mean any harm by it, they were just doin' stuff.  And they didn't really think it was a big deal, so to say.  They didn't think it was anything they could get in trouble with," said McCrae.

The shop owner said it took a couple hours to clean-up all the graffiti that was here.  And he said it could have driven some business away.

"I'm sure it did to some degree.  I mean, would you want to pull up and see that with your children, or your wife, or your mother sitting there," said Perils.

Perils said he's happy the vandalism didn't cause more damage.

"If you took out all the vulgarity of it, there was some wonderful artwork involved in it.  It took...it's a shame because whoever did this have a lot of talent," said Perils.

But now that the graffiti has been cleaned up, the offensive drawings that once filled these sidewalks will fade into the past.

Investigators said even if the suspects drew the offensive drawings and vulgar language on their own property, they could have still faced charges if the images were in public view.  

Officers said the suspects haven't been in trouble before.  They said the incident happened after the suspects returned from a trip to Savannah.  Each one posted a $2000 bond and was released last night.

 

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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