GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) – The Garner Police said Monday that there has been a second act of vandalism in the area targeting police and raised the reward for information leading to an arrest in both incidents.
Police Chief Brandon Zuidema said Monday that the second vandalism also included the same message, which was, “Kill a cop, save a child.” The second location is less than a mile away from the new police station where the first incident happened.
Zuidema said seven doors and two places on walls were vandalized with that message at the 500 block of Village Court in Garner. He said the property owners discovered the changes Monday morning.
Chief Brandon Zuidema called the message “disgusting.”
“These messages are not messages from this community,” an irate Zuidema said. “This community has an outstanding relationship with this police department.”
Zuidema called the people involved “cowards” and again said the act should be treated as a hate crime.
Garner’s new police station on 7th Avenue is in the finishing stages with police planning to move in soon.
A new mural was painted outside, but on Friday it was defaced with this message: “Kill A Cop, Save A Child.”
“That someone would choose not only to deface a mural that’s intended to be a community asset, but would deface it with the words ‘kill a cop’ on it, makes me sick,” Zuidema said Sunday.
A local artist said he spent more than 200 hours working on the mural.
“Hurtful, it was really hurtful for me to watch that happen to those officers. At first I was kind of mad that it happened to me. And then I realized it had nothing to do with me at all,” said artist Vincent Wood.
The reward for help leading to an arrest was raised from $1,000 to $5,000. Zuidema said the money would come from the police, the town and the property owner.
“For this to happen makes me angry, makes me disgusted. And I’m going to see that I can do whatever I can do to get this person off the streets,” said Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams.
Wood has vowed to re-paint the mural.
“To the vandal that tagged our mural… I am gonna make it better than it was gonna be. You can’t beat me, chump, I am from Garner,” he wrote on Facebook.
Zuidema said a GoFundMe page has been set up to help Wood regain some of the costs