- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 2, 2002

A U.S. Park Police detective says anti-American graffiti and vandalism have occurred more frequently at local federal parks and monuments since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The park police have documented four incidents since the attacks last year, said Detective Kevin Fornshill, who monitors the region's national parklands. Those incidents do not include minor instances of vandalism by anti-capitalism protesters during demonstrations last weekend, officials said.
Park police reported the most recent incident of vandalism Sept. 8 after discovering "Amerika is a lie" and "U.S. out of the Middle East" scrawled in permanent marker on the granite base of the Marine Corps War Memorial and part of the Netherlands Carillon. Police have no suspects.
"The events of September 11, 2001, were a shock to the nation," Detective Fornshill said. "Some individuals reacted by putting a flag in front of the house, and others began to question the government."
Detective Fornshill said he has no records of vandalism as obviously anti-government and strongly worded before the terrorist attacks.
In one case of post-attack graffiti, someone wrote "Bomb kills Bush" in a restroom at the Washington Sailing Marina, south of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
Also on the parkway, a vandal painted the anarchist "A" symbol with a peace sign and smiley face. Vandals also spray-painted "Heil Bush" across a bike path on a portion of the parkway.
Park police caught the persons responsible for all three offenses, one of whom has been convicted of defacing federal property.
Defacing property of the National Park Service can incur state and federal penalties. The maximum penalty for causing $1,000 or more of damage to federal property, a felony, is a $5,000 fine and 10 years in prison.
On Saturday, a man was arrested for putting sticky tape on the statue of Adm. David Glasgow Farragut in Farragut Square as part of protests against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Park police released the man without charges, and the case is closed, said Sgt. Scott Fear, a Park police spokesman.
The concrete paths around the statue were covered with chalk-written statements such as "Bush = Hitler," but park police are not classifying the case as the four others, Sgt. Fear said.
Officials for the Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Capitol Police and the U.S. Park Police wing monitoring areas in New York, such as the Statue of Liberty and Federal Hall, said they have no records of anti-American vandalism in areas for which they are responsible.
Vandals periodically scrawl graffiti within the area covered by the Capitol police, but no graffiti has occurred in at least a year, said Deputy Chief Marsha Krug. Increased security measures at the U.S. Capitol after the attacks may be responsible for the lack of any incidents in that area, she said.
"With the increase in security, just the presence of patrols may make it less likely," Chief Krug said.
Park police in New York have increased the number of officers patrolling parks, said Lt. John Lauro.
Following the terrorist attacks, the Park Service increased security forces at the Washington Monument and other local parklands. Rangers worked longer hours and asked visitors to be more vigilant, but a National Park Service spokesman said no permanent changes have been made in the work force.
Investigators do not believe the previous defacements are connected with those of the Carillon and the Marine Corps' Iwo Jima memorial, Detective Fornshill said.
The law-enforcement agencies coordinate on vandalism investigations only insofar as to check records for similarities in content, style or handwriting of graffiti, he said.
Park police are relying information from the public for leads about the culprits in the defacement of the Iwo Jima memorial and the Carillon, Detective Fornshill said.
"Someone out there knows who's responsible for the acts at the Iwo Jima Memorial," he said. "Someone recognizes the handwriting or style of vandalism."
Park police ask that anyone with information about the incident call the Crime Tip Line 202/690-5080.
He said other instances of anti-American vandalism may have been documented but not brought to his attention.

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