Charges filed in vandalism case

The suspects in Sunday morning’s protest could face up to six months in jail.
Tuesday, August 5, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:02 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The rest of the graffiti had been cleaned up from the Boone County Government Center and the Boone County Courthouse on Monday afternoon. But the words “WHO’S STREETS? OUR STREETS!” remained painted on a crosswalk at the intersection of Eighth and Walnut streets, evidence of an early morning protest on Sunday that led to misdemeanor charges against seven people.

About 50 people gathered in the area just after midnight on Sunday and spray-painted the fountain and street with messages opposing U.S. involvement in Iraq, said Sgt. Tom Reddin of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department. An American flag from either the courthouse or government building was burned during the protest.

Reddin said investigators are using surveillance tapes to obtain more information about the incident.

“Seven were arrested because seven were caught,” Reddin said. “There were a lot more people at the gathering than there were law enforcement officers.”

Reddin said if more people can be identified, the sheriff’s department would look to make additional arrests. Investigators have not yet determined the cost of damages to county property.

Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Crane said charges of property damage and unlawful assembly were filed against seven people on Monday. Reddin said the charges are class B misdemeanors, which could result in a sentence of up to six months in jail and up to a $500 fine.

A meeting is considered “unlawful assembly” when state or federal laws are violated, Reddin said. “They did that with the property damage and driving cars up by the fountain.”

Seven people were charged and arrested at the scene on Sunday, transported to the Boone County Jail, and later interviewed and released on summons, Reddin said.

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