Local law enforcement investigates graffiti at White Cliffs

White Cliffs Wagon Trail Park draws people of all ages to its majestic rock formations, historic wagon trails and miles of hiking paths.

Natural limestone preserves the historic Beale Wagon Trail within the park for generations to come.

Located in back of Palo Christi School and next to Radar Hill, signs along Grandview Avenue or Beale Street point the way to the park.

But the beauty of this historic area was recently marred when someone took a can of spray paint and wrote offensive graffiti for all to see.

The Kingman Police Department investigated the graffiti and forwarded the report to GITEM (Gang Intelligence Team Enforcement Method), an integrated law enforcement group.

"It is passed on to see if certain symbols or markings have shown up previously," said Lt.

Dean Brice.

"They check to see if it is gang-related."

Detective Jack King, a member of GITEM, said the graffiti is actually from two different groups.

"The first time we looked, there was a symbol that looks like an ax head or an hourglass turned on its side with a line through it that looks like a DK," King said.

"The symbol is from a rock group in the '80s called the 'Dead Kennedys.' The sergeant had seen the DK symbol."

When they went back to the site two days later, they saw someone had written "some white supremacist stuff, something like, 'Next time we won't be so nice,' or something like that," King said.

"It looked like some type of retaliation for the first symbol," he added.

"We are not calling it a hate crime at this time, but we are looking for any help the public can provide."

The report of the graffiti was also sent to the Barry Weathers, the city of Kingman equipment and building maintenance superintendent.

" 'White Power' (graffiti) comes around once or twice a year," he said.

"We respond the day after we get the report.

We drop what we are doing to get it cleaned up so the troublemakers don't get to see it that long."

Weathers said he received a report Tuesday through the graffiti abatement program designed to cut down on offensive "tag art" within the city.

The job required the use of two city employees, Russ Kuehner and Tomas Silva, special brushes and two gallons of paint to cover the offensive graffiti at a cost of $200 or more, Weathers said.

"The crew brushes off the graffiti, but you can still see the imprint," he added Thursday.

"They will put on paint the same color as the rock, so you can't even tell it was there."

The city budget allows for several thousand dollars a year to remove graffiti – to sandblast it off or paint over it.

Some of the costs can be reimbursed if the perpetrators are caught and sentenced and ordered to pay restitution.

King said the crime could be classified as a felony if the site is a venerated place such as a cemetery or a national monument, or if it takes more than $250 to remove or cover the graffiti.

There are state laws and a city ordinance prohibiting graffiti, according to Kathy McCoy, the municipal court judge for the city of Kingman

The crime is most often a misdemeanor, although it could be classified as a felony, depending on the amount of damage.

Within the city, the maximum penalty is six months in jail and a $4,425 fine.

Anyone with any information regarding the graffiti at White Cliffs should call Mohave Silent Witness, an anonymous hotline, at 753-1234.