Vandals deface Rumsey
Recent vandalism at the road entrance to Rumsey Monument Park off North Mill Street has local police offering a cash reward for any information that leads to the successful arrest and conviction of the culprit.
In an interview with the Chronicle, Police Chief Tim Johnson said the vandalism was first noticed late last week. He also expressed disappointment and a commitment to discovering the vandals for tarnishing a park which will shortly be host to a slew of spring and summer events. “I’d like to find out who did it, especially now with May Day and the Fourth of July coming up.”
The vandal struck with pink and black spray paint, leaving behind a series of uncreative obscenities. The fascination with a sign near the entrance which once read “Park Closed After Dark” was also defaced. There, the letter “R” from the word “Park” was removed. The “S” was also removed from the word “Closed” and moved to the end of the phrase so that the sign reads “Pa[r]k clo[s]ed after darks”.
The use of purple spray paint on gray limestone rendered many of the crude, uncreative designs hard to discern, even at a close distance. Also puzzling is the vandal’s apparent fascination with depicting male genitalia. At least two phallic symbols were applied to objects near the entrance.
Bob Fee, a New Hampshire tourist, visited the park on Monday morning with his wife. In an interview with the Chronicle, Fee said that he was disappointed to see such a blot on the otherwise beautiful park, saying “there’s no place for graffiti in parks.”
Police say that vandalism at the park has been a problem for a long time. A number of other pre-existing instances of vandalism still scar the monument’s east facade, which bears a bas relief of James Rumsey piloting his primitive steam powered jet ski on the Potomac River.