07/10/07 — Residents want sheriff's office to find vandals who spray-painted historic jail

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Residents want sheriff's office to find vandals who spray-painted historic jail

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on July 10, 2007 1:45 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Residents and history buffs are asking Wayne County Sheriff's Office officials to find the teens responsible for vandalism to the town's historic jail.

Seven Springs Historical Commission president Karen Mozingo said her husband, Town Commissioner Bobby Mozingo, discovered the graffiti Monday morning while he was cutting grass in the area of Simmons Street, where the old jail is located.

They believe the vandalism was done Sunday night.

Townspeople think local teens are responsible for the damage, Mrs. Mozingo said.

"Karen and I are two of the younger ones in town," Mozingo said about the town, which has a population of about 85. "There are about 12 residents our age or younger. Most are 70 to 85 years old."

Witnesses say three young mens have been spotted, usually late at night or early in the morning, before dawn, wandering around town.

Mozingo said there is no doubt in his mind the three spray can artists are high school students. One of the walls was painted with a "4:30," the time Mozingo said he was told by law enforcement when students meet after school to do drugs.

He said he and other residents will keep their eyes open.

"There are people in town who are trying to catch these young men," Mozingo said.

"It's been going on about three years," Mrs. Mozingo said. "Where are the parents when they're out late at night?"

Several buildings have been spray-painted, she said. Some are businesses. Others are abandoned buildings. Some business owners have painted over the graffiti. Others have just left the markings.

The Mozingos are the first to file a complaint, and they say they will continue to keep watch until the culprits are caught.

Mrs. Mozingo said townspeople have asked them if they are scared.

"Not one bit," she said.