Boy, 13, charged with defacing Grant Park statues - FOX 32 News Chicago

Boy, 13, charged with defacing Grant Park statues

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(Grant Park Conservancy) (Grant Park Conservancy)
(Grant Park Conservancy) (Grant Park Conservancy)
(Grant Park Conservancy) (Grant Park Conservancy)
(Grant Park Conservancy) (Grant Park Conservancy)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A 13-year-old boy was charged Monday after police say he tagged 18 life-size statues in Grant Park with permanent ink.

Police arrested the teen over the weekend. They found he was in possession of spray paint cans and permanent markers. Of the 26 faceless statues, more than half were hit by graffiti. Grant Park Conservancy president Bob O'Neill said that each statue was spray-painted with similar lettering.

"What these taggers don't realize is that it is a lot easier to get caught," O'Neill said. "Police can look up the graffiti through a database and match it to a person."

The juvenile has been charged with criminal defacement of property greater than $300, criminal damage to government property greater than $500, possession of paint/marker with intent to deface, possession of spray can/ marker by underage person.

"I'm surprised he was so young, but I knew they were going to get this guy," O'Neill said. "There was too much pressure on this one."

O'Neill said this weekend's vandalism was the first time the pieces have been defaced. The graffiti has since been removed.

"Why should taxpayers pay for removing the graffiti?" O'Neill said. "I hope this kid's parents pay. Or he pays. Maybe through some sort of community service."

Icelandic artist Steinunn Thorarinsdottie's collection, titled "Borders," is on display near Michigan and Jackson.

"It cost a lot to bring art here," he added. "Each piece had to be shipped across the country."

The statues were installed in August and will remain in the park until October. They previously were on display in New York and Dallas and are due to move on to Detroit next.

The Associated Press and Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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