Taggers leave graffiti across city

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Graffiti is becoming a problem in one Eastern Kentucky city. Police in Hazard say taggers are leaving their mark on everything from street signs to public buildings.

Hazard police say graffiti like this is showing up more and more, and they're finding it's not only on the outside.

"Just about every business, you can go into the public bathrooms and you'll see graffiti on the walls. You'll see the bathrooms destroyed, just no respect," said Patrolman Bruce Fields.

Besides profanity, police are finding the same three markings in several locations, including the shopping center on Black Gold Boulevard. Officers say they're working with other agencies to find out the meaning of these symbols, and are unsure if it's gang related.

Cleanup of the graffiti is underway at the shopping center, but police say with taggers already leaving their marks on businesses, they're afraid homes could be next.

"Before long, it could be this and then everyone has to look at it. It looks bad on our town when people drive through. Even if they come here for a little while, you don't want to stop in a town that's ate up with graffiti," added Fields.

Taggers also hit Memorial Gym. Hazard Girl's Basketball Coach William Fannin says he noticed the graffiti when his team showed up for camp.

"It is kind of disturbing to see someone come and deface a building, you know, and that old Memorial Gym has been there a long time and has a lot of history," added Fannin.

Fannin hopes taggers realize their work is costing the entire community.

Police say anyone arrested for tagging faces felony charges. You're asked to call Hazard Police at 436-2222 with tips. You can remain anonymous.

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