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City removes anti-Obama graffiti

By Gheni_Platenburg
May 27, 2010 at 12:27 a.m.


TO HELP

To report graffiti in your area, please call 361-485-3808.

LAW ON THREATS

The federal statute that makes it a crime to threaten the President is 18 U.S. Code § 871(a).

The law provides as follows:

Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States. . . shall be fined . . . or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

The Nursery Drive anti-Obama graffiti has been removed.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, the Victoria fire and police departments worked together to remove the graffiti that has defaced the roadway for some time now.

"We got most of it up so that it's unrecognizable," said battalion chief Tracy Fox.

Victoria Police Sgt. Felix Appelt said the graffiti was not easy to remove.

"We thought we would be able to just get it up with a pressure washer, but that didn't quite work," he said.

Cleanup crews had to use a combination of pressure washing and a heavy-duty solvent to remove the graffiti, which was located in several places along the entire stretch of roadway.

One message said "Kill Obama" while others called him a communist and a liar.

Area businesses gave different accounts of when they first noticed the graffiti, making it impossible to pinpoint exactly when it first appeared. However, their timeline ranged from eight to two months ago.

Victoria Police Chief Bruce Ure said law enforcement is working to catch the vandals responsible for the crime.

"Regardless of your political beliefs, that was extremely disrespectful to the president," said Ure. "Whether someone is going to spray paint graffiti regarding a gang or their displeasure with a political office, we want to catch all of them no matter what the message is."

Ure said the Secret Service would not likely get involved in this case.

"This is something the Secret Service won't get involved in.," said Ure. "Graffiti on the road wouldn't measure up to a significant threat. It's more of a distasteful way for someone to express their political beliefs."

Appelt said cleaning up the graffiti should deter further vandalism on the roadway.

"Hopefully, they won't put it back," he said.

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