Man arrested over spray-painting at county veterans' memorial

URBANA — Police have arrested an Urbana man in connection with the spray-painting of Champaign County's veterans' memorial.

According to a Champaign County sheriff's report, witnesses saw a man spray-painting the veterans' memorial yellow outside the Champaign County Courthouse in Urbana at 8:16 a.m. Wednesday.

Court security personnel chased the man, but he eventually got away.

A short while later Urbana, Champaign County and University of Illinois officers found a man matching the description provided by the court security officers near the Urbana Adult Education Building, 211 N. Race St., U.

Police ran after the man, arresting him at the Boneyard Creek just west of the Courier Cafe.

Police issued Kyle Maxey, 22, who listed an address in the 1100 block of North Busey Avenue, Urbana, a notice to appear for criminal defacement.

The report said Maxey was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana because he was injured running along the Boneyard Creek. No information was available on Maxey's condition on Wednesday evening.

Two of the police officers also were slightly injured during the pursuit, according to the report.

Maxey is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 20 on an unrelated charge of criminal trespass to land.

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fortherecord wrote on January 23, 2013 at 7:01 pm

What a coward. 

vikinghammer2 wrote on January 23, 2013 at 8:01 pm

i second the comment by fortherecord

Dogchakra wrote on January 23, 2013 at 8:01 pm

It was mustard, not spray paint. Get your info straight.

Chazman wrote on January 23, 2013 at 9:01 pm
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I hardly think that the substance used to deface the memorial is the point.  As a veteran with children currently in active duty, I take HIGH offense to anyone who is not respectful of our freedoms, of those who have served, or of those who continue to serve in order to protect those freedoms!  Let me have a go at this guy, and teach him some respect!  OOH-RAH!  SEMPER FI!

rsp wrote on January 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm

If it's mustard it will just wash off, meaning it isn't defaced. But he still is entitled to his right to free speech. 

GoIllini777 wrote on January 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Yeah, as the poster below implied, free speech means he can stand on the sidewalk in front of the memorial and say whatever he wants, but that doesn't mean he can dump stuff on the memorial.

If it's true that he was putting mustard on the memorial, I can't imagine anything will come of this, though.  You have to wonder if the guy has mental problems.  That memorial is sitting right at a busy morning intersection, right next to the courthouse and the sheriff's office.

awilson wrote on January 24, 2013 at 12:01 am

Doing anything to deface public property isn't exactly covered by free speech.  I don't care if he used spray paint, mustard, urine or whatever.

rsp wrote on January 24, 2013 at 5:01 am

Squirting some mustard on the ground isn't exactly going to qualify as defacing public property. I think it's much more of a disgrace that the Marine flag has been hanging improperly for some time now and nobody seems to care. It's torn and soon will fall to the ground. But let's get into an uproar about some mustard that will wash away in the rain and have three people get hurt making the arrest that will end up being either dismissed or thrown out of court. People spit on the ground over there all the time and are ignored. 

45solte wrote on January 24, 2013 at 8:01 am

I think he's on parole (for what that's worth in this county). 

Urbana_Watcher wrote on January 24, 2013 at 10:01 am

urbana_watcher@yahoo.com    if you'd like to see some pictures of the vandalism.

Urbana_Watcher wrote on January 24, 2013 at 11:01 am

I have a son in the Navy and other relatives retired and passed. When I saw the Memorial yesterday morning on my way to work all I could do was grab my camera out of my purse, pull to the curb and just document it in pictures. The little picture that is posted here shows very, very little of the scope of what it looked like until it was cleaned in the afternoon. Mustard or paint, it doesn't matter. Vandalism is vandalism regardless of what was used.  urbana_watcher@yahoo.com if you'd like to have me email you a few pictures.

rsp wrote on January 24, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I don't know what you think it looked like but it wasn't cleaned up. Did you zoom in close? Vandalism has to cause damage. I'm having trouble seeing how food qualifies. 

Urbana_Watcher wrote on January 24, 2013 at 11:01 pm

I have the pictures. Email me at urbana_watcher@yahoo.com and you can see for yourself. It wasn't just a little dripple of mustard or paint. It was cleaned up mid-afternoon Wednesday. Or maybe you can post your home address and we can all come over and show you how food qualifies. Haven't you ever seen eggs thrown on a house?


From wikipedia==Vandalism is the behaviour attributed originally to the vandals, by the Romans, in respect of culture: ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable. The term also includes criminal damage such as graffiti and defacement directed towards any property without permission of the owner.


There I think that covers everyones concern about how the word is use and what it encompasses!

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 25, 2013 at 8:01 am

But criminality isn't determined by wikipedia - it's determined by the criminal code.

rsp wrote on January 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Actually I was standing in front of it. I looked at it very closely. I also looked up his charges. He wasn't charged with vandalism. It isn't damaged. Water will clean it off. 

chrisr150 wrote on January 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm

How about you check DOC website???? He's a real winner. Freedom of speech doesn't mean I want your condiments on my memorial.

rsp wrote on January 24, 2013 at 4:01 am

So only certain people get freedom of speech? Do we do background checks firsts? Who gets to check? Who's the new McCarthy?

45solte wrote on January 24, 2013 at 8:01 am

How far does your version of freedom of speech extend?  To all kinds of behavior that doesn't involve outright speech, per se?

rsp wrote on January 24, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Free speech doesn't just involve oral speech, it also includes symbolic speech such as burning the flag. It does not include yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre just for kicks. Protest is vital to our democracy. 

mankind wrote on January 24, 2013 at 10:01 am

Three injuries over a little mustard? Two police agencies involved in the chase? I'm all for honoring our veterans but it sounds like the authorities lost their perspective on this one.

Urbana_Watcher wrote on January 24, 2013 at 10:01 am

urbana_watcher@yahoo.com   if you'd like a return email with better pitcures of the vandalism.

Urbana_Watcher wrote on January 24, 2013 at 10:01 am

I have pictures and willing to email them to whoever would like to see far more than this little picture that is posted with this article. The bus shelter on Broadway in front of Save-a-lot was also vandalized. From a distance is does look like mustard and not spray paint. If it was paint, then it was liquid paint from a can that was flung on to the memorial and bus shelter. It looked like mustard that had been squirted from a bottle. Am I allowed to leave my email address here so people can contact me for my pictures? Or will my posting be taken down? It's worth a try. Here it is: urbana_watcher@yahoo.com

LocalTownie wrote on January 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I really think the News Gazette could have posted a better picture, that's a little ridiculous. You can barely see anything. And several people have stated in the comments it was mustard but the article called it spray paint. From that terrible little picture it looks like mustard to me. So what was it really? I'm am constantly disappointed with the lack of complete information in this paper.


Squirting mustard all over a veterans memorial has nothing to do with freedom of speech. The guy wasn't peacefully demonstrating, he was defacing public property. I'm glad the Urbana police chased the coward down!

mankind wrote on January 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I agree it's not freedom of speech, but it's a little ridiculous to risk injury or worse to catch some guy whose weapon of choice was a hot dog condiment. But I agree with you about the reporting here. Some newspaper editors would demand to know what brand of mustard was used before they let a reporter hang his hat on this story. Just sayin.

rsp wrote on January 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm

It's that hard to see when you are standing there. When you hear "spray painted" you think of an aerosol can. but think of a mustard container opened and the mustard being flung out of it from a few feet away. There are several lines, all are thin. You could miss them almost

rsp wrote on January 24, 2013 at 6:01 pm

(720 ILCS 5/21-1.3) 
    Sec. 21-1.3. Criminal defacement of property. 
    (a) A person commits criminal defacement of property when the person knowingly damages the property of another by defacing, deforming, or otherwise damaging the property by the use of paint or any other similar substance, or by the use of a writing instrument, etching tool, or any other similar device. 

I don't see mustard listed. Paint is listed. I don't think it qualifies as a similar substance either. 

Urbana_Watcher wrote on January 25, 2013 at 12:01 am

From wikipedia==Vandalism is the behaviour attributed originally to the vandals, by the Romans, in respect of culture: ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable. The term also includes criminal damage such as graffiti and defacement directed towards any property without permission of the owner.



 

ClearVision wrote on January 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Again, wikipedia is not a valid source of legaly binding information.

I know people get outraged over things like this, but it seems more like littering than doing lasting damage to something. Why don't those who think the guy should be shot (or whatever) simply volunteer to clean it up? You could form a committee and take turns monitoring the state of all the memorials and whatnot in town. It'd certainly be more effective than threatening people online for simply pointing out problems with your reasoning ability.

rsp wrote on January 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I'm sure the court and the prosecutor will rely on wikipedia for how to procede. You're so silly. Did it include punishments? Did they consider mustard contraband? 

K.D. wrote on January 24, 2013 at 10:01 pm

What's your address?  I'd like to express my opinion of your comments by lathering your home in Bar-b-que sauce.  

fortherecord wrote on January 24, 2013 at 10:01 pm

I second that. I'd like to express my opinion as well. 

mark taylor's ghost wrote on January 25, 2013 at 10:01 am

That's right!!!!! They need to either post their address on this forum and not complain when me and all my buddies "lather" their house with REAL AMERICAN BBQ sauce (not that fancy pants spicy mustard).

They do that or they shut up. PERIOD!!!!!!1!

Whattsa matter? Chicken?????22? Hey everyone, look at the CHICKEN!!!!1!

Cha! Chi Cha! Chi Cha! Chi Cha!

rsp wrote on January 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Who's chicken????

rsp wrote on January 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm

A cook out would be fun about right now. It's not that cold out. All this talk about sauce. 

smokn69 wrote on January 25, 2013 at 8:01 am

Dang a hot dog sounds good right about now.

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 25, 2013 at 10:01 am

If the guy wanted to express his freedom of speech, he should have given his opinion at the VFW instead of being a wimp with mustard at a veterans memorial.  What was his motivation for his expressing himself in such a manner? 

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Why are we so sure it was mustard again?

Urbana_Watcher wrote on January 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm

See for yourself. Email me  urbana_watcher@yahoo.com  Decide for yourself.

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I'm going to just go with the story as written, thanks.

rsp wrote on January 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I stopped there yesterday and looked at it. Looked like mustard to me. 

Dogchakra wrote on January 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Because I work at the courthouse and it was obviously mustard. Plus the sheriffs deputies confirmed it was mustard.

Urbana_Watcher wrote on January 25, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Thank you for confirming. Either the N-G got it wrong by saying that the police report said it was paint, or the police report was wrong. And if the N-G photographer was that close to take a picture silly little picture that is posted iwth this article, surely he should have comfirmed what the substance was.

rsp wrote on January 26, 2013 at 10:01 am

Reporters go by what is in the police report. Photographers aren't reporters or investigaters. 

Urbana_Watcher wrote on January 25, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Well, only one person was interested enough to email me for the pictures I took of this mess. The offer is still open for the disbelievers who thought that the only mustard/paint that was on the memorial was what was pictured in the article.

rsp wrote on January 26, 2013 at 10:01 am

Mustard/paint? I don't think anyone thought that the picture was showing all of the mustard on there. Most people probably assumed it was "representative" of the gravity of the situation. 

asparagus wrote on January 26, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Turmeric in mustard (if that is indeed the substance in question) has historically been used as a dye.  It is well known for it ability to stain.  I would be careful about calling this a harmless speech act.  It may require considerable effort and chemicals to completely remove the discoloration, especially if any of the grout is porous in nature.  Seems to me a clear case of defacement.

rsp wrote on January 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Turmeric will fade on it's on unless you add a mordant. If you choose to dye fabric or fiber with it it is recommended that you wash it separately as the color will bleed. In other words, it isn't a stable dye on it's own. If you stop over there and look you'll see it clearing up on it's own. Every time it gets a little warm the bugs come out and snack. No stains. I expext water will take it off. 

benster wrote on January 27, 2013 at 10:01 am

i hope this person has been given a room (cell) under the jail !

Local Yocal wrote on January 28, 2013 at 10:01 pm
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Is no one concerned about Tim Mitchell's and the Sheriff Department's severe and deliberate changing of facts equating mustard with spray paint.? Even the photograph confirms it. How can any officer write, "spray paint", any reporter write, "spray paint" in a report?

rsp wrote on January 29, 2013 at 12:01 am

The reporters go by the police report. So far the charge hasn't shown up on the court web site. I'm wondering if it was dropped. Usually it takes two days. 

 

rsp wrote on January 30, 2013 at 11:01 am

As of 11 a.m. wednesday, this charge has not shown up on the court website. 

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 30, 2013 at 11:01 am

Did he just get out of lockup, and was already charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass to land, in addition to this?

cavman wrote on May 14, 2013 at 4:05 pm

What a coward. One said he still had the right to free speech. Well his free speech end when he vadalizes public propert. It was those same service men and women he was disrepecting that gave him the freedom to do this cowardly act. He needs to spend a few days in jail to wake him up.