Westminster saw three cases of vandalism on Sunday evening when derogatory messages against police and schools were spray painted on East Middle School, the Westminster City Park Playground and the City Maintenance Shop at 105 Railroad Ave.
Police believe all of the incidents are related. Two juvenile suspects have been identified and the Westminster Police Department will be pursuing charges in the future, according to Lt. Tom Kowalczyk.
Malicious destruction of property is a misdemeanor that can carry fines and jail time, depending on the cost of the damaged items, according to the Maryland Sentencing Guidelines.
Some of the graffiti uses slang terms that are derogatory toward narcotics officers.
The cost of the damage to city property has not yet been determined and the incidents are still under investigation, Kowalczyk said.
The city playground was rebuilt around a year ago by the Westminster Department of Recreation and Parks with funding from a $275,000 grant from the Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources Community Parks and Playgrounds Program.
Clean-up of the graffiti at the playground and shop building is “in the process of being taken care of at this time,” Kowalczyk said.
East Middle School Principal James Carver said students may not have been aware of the graffiti at all this morning because the school’s maintenance department was able to begin cleaning using sandblasters Monday morning. Any explicit language was covered before students arrived in the building.
“There was no interruption to the school day at all. … Our maintenance department did a superb job of getting in first thing in the morning,” Carver said.
The cost of the damage to the school will be determined by the cost of labor required for cleaning, and the school will seek restitution from the vandals, he said.
If the vandals are students of East Middle or another Carroll County Public School, Carver said the school system will consider punishment up to and including suspension, in addition to police charges.