Whoops marks the spot

Hudson Valley Rail Trail vandalized

by Megan Labrise
July 07, 2011 01:40 PM | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(L-R): Cousins Tim and Jesse Baker of Water Worx Pressure Washing clean graffiti on the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.
Photo by Megan Labrise
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Town of Lloyd Police are investigating a salvo of graffiti sprayed on and around the Hudson Valley Rail Trail. While the trail has been subject to vandalism before, dozens of new words and images appeared on underpasses, walls, a kiosk, signage and the trail bed sometime after 8 p.m. Thursday, June 23. The vandalism was discovered by a police patrol at 9 a.m. Friday, June 24.

“It’s discouraging and sad that somebody would do this, but it’s never going to stop us from promoting the ideas and the ideals behind the Rail Trail. We’ll just clean it up and move forward,” said Lloyd Supervisor Ray Costantino. Costantino is a founding member of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association, the not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving, promoting and protecting the trail.

One prominent motif in the graffiti is the tag “Whoops.” According to the official incident report, a trio of local high-schoolers are associated with the handle. No arrests have been made.

Highway Superintendent Frank Lombardi reported the appearance of similar graffiti on lower White Street in Highland on June 24.

Whoever perpetrated the offenses could be charged with 3rd Degree Criminal Mischief, a Class E felony in New York State. State Law Article 145.05 classifies 3rd Degree Criminal Mischief as intent to damage the property of another person in an amount exceeding $250. Class E felonies can carry $1,000-5000 fines and jail time. Associated Misdemeanors include Making Graffiti (145.60) and Possession of Graffiti Instruments (145.65).

The town has not yet received an official estimate for the cost of damages.

On Thursday, June 30, Highland residents Tim and Jesse Baker of WaterWorx Hot Water Pressure Washing volunteered their goods and services to clean up the graffiti. They began at the Route 9W underpass.

“The surface is porous, so it was really absorbed in there. They used different kinds of paint -- some seem to be acrylic -- so we’ll have to use acid on them. It’s too bad when something like this happens,” said Tim Baker.

While the vandals may never be brought to justice, Costantino sees a silver lining in the unfortunate event.

“I think it makes people pay attention and take personal ownership. They’re insulted that people could deface their park -- ‘how dare they?’” said Costantino.

He encourages residents to report suspicious activity on the Hudson Valley Rail Trail to the Town of Lloyd Police at 691-6102.

“If you see it, say it,” said Costantino.

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