Three suspects are now under arrest in Cedar Rapids, accused in a long, expensive string of vandalism, including spray-painted threats of violence. Over the past several weeks, Cedar Rapids Police Sergeant Cristy Hamblin say the suspects defaced parts of Kirkwood Community College, a teamster’s hall, several businesses, a church and the city’s Kingston Stadium.
“From the middle of June through the middle of July, we had numerous reports of criminal mischief,” Sergeant Hamblin says. “They were spray-painted or they were with a permanent marker onto various buildings all over Cedar Rapids.” The vandals were caught on videotape and tips led police to the same three suspects in virtually all of the cases.
Hamblin says, “I’m not an art connoisseur so I couldn’t tell you the difference but there are people within our department that study the graffiti and could tell it was the same taggers, the same artists.” Hamblin says the spray-painted threats of violence, including one to blow up the stadium, had police and some residents particularly concerned.
“There was some reference made to threatening to do some damage to Kingston at the first game and there were innuendos made against President Obama,” Hamblin says. “That’s one of those things you don’t ever want to do, make any threats against the president, because there’s bigger people than the Cedar Rapids police that take that a little more seriously.”
In this case though, after interviewing all three suspects, the decision was made not to contact the Secret Service, which could have pursued federal charges in the case.
All three suspects are charged with criminal mischief: 20-year-old Andrew Ronnenberg, 18-year-old Lester Good and 17-year-old Nicholas Daugherty. Damage, Hamblin says, is in the many thousands of dollars.