A handful of Glendale residents woke up last Wednesday morning, July 23, to see a line of cars all painted black, courtesy of a suspect taking the enforcement of parking regulations into his or her own hands.
“Learn how to park, S-bag” and “Hey scumbag park right” were some of the messages emblazoned onto the sides of four parked cars with black spray paint all within a few blocks of the intersection of Cooper and Myrtle avenues.
Officer Otoniel Jimenez of the 104th Precinct said the incidents occurred over a 24 hour period, and area civic leaders who were puzzled at the kind of vandalism committed.
“Vandalizing other people’s property is a crime and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Glendale Civic Association President Kathy Masi, who believes three cars were victimized. “We have vigilantly gone after graffiti and this is the worst form of graffiti.”
Juniper Park Civic Association President Bob Holden said he was told by the 104th Precinct that four cars were painted by, presumably, the same individual.
“I believe it’s only a matter of time before they catch this guy,” Holden said. “Obviously the person that did this is seriously disturbed.”
An area surveillance camera captured an image of a man walking through the area with a black object in his hand, leading some to believe he is the perpetrator.
However, Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol President Frank Kotnick warned residents against jumping to conclusions and used the incident as just another reason to join the crime-fighting organization.
“It looks like it might be a 16-ounce bottle of soda to me,” Kotnick said of the photo making the rounds on social media sites. “Yes, a crime happened and people’s cars were vandalized. But if some people are so worried, maybe they should come down to GCOP’s next meeting and join the patrol.”
Officer Jimenez also cautioned against judging the man seen in the footage, saying the 104th Precinct is investigating the matter but the image allegedly of the suspect was not released by the command.
“We’re considering it an isolated incident at this point,” Jimenez said. “It hasn’t happened since then.”
Attempts to contact the owners of the vandalized vehicles were unsuccessful.
Dozens of angry Glendale residents, including Doreen Maloney-Pratt, railed against the incidents across social media throughout the week.
Pratt said she and her daughter drove past the tagged cars early that morning and were shocked by the “sad and disgusting” messages.
“I was really shocked because the car parked on Central Avenue was not parked wrong,” Pratt said. “No one has the right to destroy someone else’s property. He was mad in general and he took it out on innocent people.”