“at what point can an attempt be made to catch the person in the act of defacing public property, particularly in such an offensive manner?”

by Prince Of Petworth December 15, 2015 at 1:10 pm 32 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

I pass by this bus stop at 18th and M Street almost every day. Notice the apparently anti-semitic graffiti. It has been removed/erased at least five times since I’ve noticed and every time the ‘artist’ scrawls it back on. I assume the choice of ad for this graffiti is no
coincidence. I believe the BID is doing a good job of erasing the graffiti but at what point can an attempt be made to catch the person in the act of defacing public property, particularly in such an offensive manner?”

  • Philippe Lecheval

    With a police force that is unwilling/unable to deal with far more dangerous crime, good luck getting someone to track down the person responsible for this.

  • serendipitydoesit

    This is disturbing and ugly graffiti, someone capable of harboring these types of feelings toward another group and repeatedly vandalizing in the same manner is probably capable of worst, should be taken very seriously.

    • lucie

      I’m not sure about that. There are quite a few homeless people in DC who have mental health issues and do things like this, defacing property and signs. While it’s certainly a sign that a person is not in their right mind, I think from a police perspective it’s easier/better to target imminent threats of violence.

      • Anonymous

        I recall a story the other year about a mentally ill person attacking trees. I cannot remember if that happened in DC.

        • A

          There was an ill person defacing trees all over Shaw within the past year or two. He was apprehended, but I’m not sure what happened thereafter. This behavior ceased.

      • also anon

        I agree. There is a lot of offensive/odd graffiti around this area of downtown. I had assumed it was done by a mentally disturbed homeless person. There are a few specific people I have heard yelling offensive things like that in McPherson and Franklin Park.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Oh hey, I actually know the woman in that ad.

    • anon

      I’m guessing shiksa, right?

      • TinkerTaylor

        Poor woman is getting it from every side. Ugly graffiti from one side, ugly word from the other.

        • anon

          it’s NOT an ugly word. It’s Yiddish for a gentile woman.

          • TinkerTaylor

            Well, connotation varies, but it’s certainly a word that some folks are taught is impolite to use. Though it is not in any way as offensive as the graffiti and I shouldn’t have implied an equivalency.

          • Philippe Lecheval

            Depends on who you are.

  • LittleBluePenguin

    ugh. People suck.

  • Duponter

    Maybe start by looking at a Donald Trump rally…sounds like his kind of crowd.

    In all seriousness, to catch the person in the act, I guess you’d need to be there. I mean, it is an odd way to ask that question – at what point can an attempt be made to catch someone in the act? I guess at the point the act is happening?

    • dcd

      The question is asking whether the situation has gotten serious enough that it is in the public’s interest to identify the vandal, rather than merely cleaning off the graffiti.

    • Krampus

      That’s not the question they’re asking.

      • Duponter

        “at what point can an attempt be made to catch the person in the act of defacing public property”

        It is quite literally the question being asked.

        • Krampus

          It’s the question they wrote but not the question they’re asking.

          • FridayGirl

            And again, Krampus right on the money today. +1000.

        • dcd

          Come on, you knew quite well what was being asked. And if you didn’t, you should have, and been a little embarrassed you had to ask.

  • dcd

    This kind of graffiti is reprehensible, and deeply disturbing. I’m all for positioning a camera to try to identify the culprit. But beyond that, a stakeout to catch the offender red-handed doesn’t seem to be a good use of police resources.

  • los

    Indeed very, very disturbing. I’m sure someone will try to rationalize by blaming gentrification or the lack of spaces for the city’s youth. However, anti-Semitism is really vile.

  • anon&confused

    The six-pointed star is also an old Folk Nation gang tattoo/symbol. This could be tagging…

    • anon&confused

      ETA pretty concerning, one way or another.

    • Truxton Thomas

      I thought the same thing. Could be a gang sign.

    • Anonymouse

      Folk nation symbol does not have a $ in the middle.

  • also anon

    This is offensive but I would much rather police spend their time catching violent criminals than stakeout a bus stop trying to catch this person.

  • Taylor st

    Anti-antisemitism aside (disgusting of course), but dear god, “because I can” as an ad for jewelry and diamond sales is also disturbing. Looks like something plucked from the 1980s, greed is good. Yuk.

    • spookiness

      As someone plucked from the 80’s, I miss the “What Becomes a Legend Most?” Blackglama fur ads.

  • TJ

    Easiest is probably to cover it with a sticker, say one with a smiley face.

  • derp derp

    I see this around that neighborhood a lot, I assume it’s just a crazy homeless person in the area. There is someone else (or maybe the same person, who knows) that crosses out all of the A’s on ads.

    • annonny

      ^This. It’s a deranged homeless dude who’s schizo-affective problems manifest themselves in defacing public property and advertising. Annoying as hell. Probably not anti-semitic in the traditional sense.


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