Vandals Identified in Arlington Vulgar Graffiti Case

Security cameras on homes lead to identifications, arrests

By Kendra Lyn and Mola Lenghi
|  Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012  |  Updated 8:02 PM CDT
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Police say they ve found the people responsible for crude words and pictures that were spray painted all over an Arlington neighborhood.

Mola Lenghi, Arlington Reporter

Police say they ve found the people responsible for crude words and pictures that were spray painted all over an Arlington neighborhood.

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5 in Custody After Graffiti Crime

Arlington police arrest 5 people in connection with a graffiti vandalism crime spree. They were caught on camera.
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Arlington police have arrested two people accused of painting racist and vulgar graffiti in a West Arlington neighborhood.

Police said five people spray-painted graffiti on cars and homes with racist, anti-gay and anti-police messages on June 10.

"A crime of hatred is not only a crime against the individual, but the community," Acting Police Chief Will Johnson said.

Daniel Sibley, 18, of Fort Worth, was arrested Tuesday. A 16-year-old girl turned herself in Wednesday and was in the custody of Arlington police.

Three other people are wanted in connection with the graffiti. A man and a woman were expected to turn themselves into police on Wednesday. Police are also seeking another woman in the case.

Investigators said they identified the five suspects, who range in age from 16 to 18, because security cameras at two homes captured the vandalism.

"Without that video, it would have been much harder for this case to move forward and seek justice," Johnson said.

Investigators are not releasing the surveillance video because the 16-year-old girl, a minor, is in the video.

Police said it doesn't look like the five suspects knew any of the 13 victims, but at least one of the acts appeared to be motivated by the victims' sexual orientation.

The suspects saw a sticker on a vehicle that can be associated with the gay and lesbian community.

"Once they saw that identifying mark, that is what prompted, in our belief, them to spray paint these hateful messages," Sgt. Christopher Cook said.

Kim Lovering said the anti-gay slurs she found spray-painted on her car were devastating. She said the graffiti damaged her family by personally targeting her and her partner.

"They needed to make a judgment on us," she said.

"Those words are so offensive and dehumanizing to our community. Those words never go away," said Thomas Anable, president of Fairness Fort Worth.

"It kind of put my heart up in my throat for a minute," Lovering said.

The suspects will be charged with graffiti of up to $20,000, a felony.

Johnson said the vandalism would be reported to the FBI as a hate crime. The district attorney will decide if the vandalism should be prosecuted as a hate crime.

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