COLUMBIA — An MU sophomore was issued summonses by Columbia police on Wednesday after police found graffiti on a parking garage and auto repair shop downtown.
A city parking enforcement officer watching surveillance footage saw a man use a marker to “tag” the parking garage at Eighth Street and Broadway at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Columbia police Lt. Scott Young said.
Police issued summonses for graffiti to Joseph Sheals, 19, for the parking garage incident and for an incident at Woody’s Auto Repair Shop at Ninth and Park streets. Police said the two incidents were related “based on the nature of the drawing,” Young said.
Employees at the auto repair shop reported the incident in January, but until Wednesday, police had no suspect.
Young said Sheals, of 712 Fairview Ave., was charged with misdemeanor second-degree property damage in both incidents.
Columbia police do not make arrests for graffiti.
“Tagging” has been an ongoing issue in downtown Columbia. In July, the city held a staff meeting for officials from the Columbia Police Department, downtown, city cultural affairs and public works to brainstorm ways to combat the problem.
Sheals is the son of Deb Sheals, a historic preservation consultant who was responsible for adding 100 downtown buildings to the National Register of Historic Places.
“I have to tell you, I haven’t really heard about this,” Deb Sheals said Thursday. She declined to comment further.