Tuesday August 14th, 2012 informationliberation.com
Police Chief Says Teens' Chalk Art Of Whale & Sea Turtles "Vandalism," Citations Issued (InformationLiberation)
Police in Doylestown, Philadelphia cited two teenagers for doodling some chalk art of whales and sea turtles on a street. The police said they would have to assess the "damage" caused by the chalk in order to determine what fine they should face. The cops said the chalk art was "an attempt at vandalism," and as Philly Burbs reports, the chalk may be a gateway to "using more permanent materials."

Via Philly Burbs:
Police cited Connor Logan, 18, of Doylestown Township, and a 17-year-old Doylestown boy at 11:58 p.m. Tuesday after they found the teens drawing a whale and sea turtles on North Clinton Street near Wood Street.

Donnelly said police believe the whale and sea turtles might be related to the other chalk graffiti, so they cited the two teens while they investigate the other incidents.

The teens face summary citations, which come with a fine to be determined by a district judge. If police can link the teens to the other chalk graffiti, the charges could be upgraded to a misdemeanor. Donnelly said, “It depends on the damage.”

Donnelly acknowledged that chalk washes off and causes little permanent damage to borough businesses and streets. But, he said, “it was an attempt at vandalism” that could lead to the teens using more permanent materials.

Also, the chief said, police believe several groups of people in the Doylestown area are drawing or painting graffiti and competing with each other to see how many buildings they can tag. If police can stop one group, Donnelly said, that could discourage others.

Logan said he’s not part of one of those groups.

“I have never done graffiti ever,” he said. “I thought it was, like, sidewalk chalk.”

Logan, who recently graduated from Central Bucks West High School, said he was waiting in the Clinton Street parking lot for some friends when he saw the piece of white chalk lying on the ground. He said, “We didn’t bring it. We didn’t buy any of it. I just picked it up and started to draw.”

He and his friend drew some sea turtles and a whale swimming together.

“I just thought drawing on the street with chalk was a harmless, harmless thing,” he said.

Then the police appeared. Logan said he understands the police showing up and telling him and his friend to stop: “If I was an officer, I would have stopped. I don’t think I would have given a citation.”

Logan’s drawings already have been washed away by rain.
The chalk art was quickly washed away, but for Doylestown police Chief James Donnelly, the shame of issuing tickets for chalk art is permanent.
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