The mystery of who caused an estimated $10,000 in damages to a prominent Hamilton building wasn’t too tough to solve.
Hamilton police say the man responsible for the vandalism signed his name and birth date in black spray paint on the side of the Hamilton Masonic Lodge as a police officer watched.
Lamar King, 21, of Hamilton, has been arrested and charged with a felony count of vandalism and a misdemeanor charge of possession of criminal tools in connection with Tuesday’s vandalism of the building at 724 High St.
Police responded to a call shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday and an officer witnessed King tagging the lodge with black spray paint, according to Sgt. Brian Robinson.
“The man was tagging the building and then signed his name and spray painted his birth date underneath,” Robinson said. “We will not tolerate such corrosive counter-productive behavior. He tagged ‘em, we bagged him.”
Thomas Durr, chairman of the Masonic Lodge, told the Journal-News that the organization recently completed $50,000 worth of building restoration and landscaping.
“We are looking at somewhere in the area of $10,000 or more in fixing the damage caused by this criminal,” Durr said.
The Masonic Lodge has been in the city since 1927, he said, and this is the first act of vandalism he can recall.
Lodge Master Seldon Brown told the Journal-News on Tuesday night that 22 places around the building were damaged by black spray paint.
Durr said the sandstone that was vandalized on the building is expensive to clean.
“You can’t power wash it because it will ruin the sandstone,” he said. “This will take a while to get cleaned up.”
King is out on bond and has been ordered to stay at least 500 feet away from the building. He is scheduled to appear next week in court for a preliminary hearing.