Isabel resident tired of graffiti, vandalism

Published 7:40 am Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Doris K. Brown of Isabel, a LeBlanc Road resident who has for years been targeted by vandals, is asking whoever has been painting graffiti on her fence to stop.

“I wish they’d just leave me alone, because I don’t bother anybody,” she said. “I just stay back there in my fence and raise my chickens and stuff. It’s just a mess.”

The 8-foot-tall board privacy fence around Brown’s home is covered with obscene words and drawings from one end to the other. Pictures of the fence, she said, would not be suitable to print in the newspaper.

Brown, a senior citizen and a widow, said she doesn’t have the funds to repaint the fence. She’s heard that oven cleaner will remove the paint, and she has attempted that. But the problem is ongoing.

“We have to scrub it off, and they keep putting it on there. I’m hoping that I can get some cameras and stop it,” she said, adding she would also like to get some signs alerting would-be vandals to the cameras.

Brown has reported the problem to the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office. She said a deputy visited her residence to look at the graffiti but said the responsible party would have to be caught in the act before he or she could be arrested. That’s where the cameras would come in, she said.

According to Chief Shannon Lyons, graffiti at a residence would be considered criminal mischief or criminal damage to property, depending on how much damage is done. If the responsible party causes more than $500 in damage but less than $50,000, it is considered a felony.

In that case, according to the statute, “the offender shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than two years, or both.” For the accused to be tried on the charges, there would need to be proof they committed the crime, such as written or physical evidence or an eyewitness.

There are many teenagers in the area, and Brown suspects the young people are to blame for the graffiti.

Brown has been at her residence on LeBlanc Road since 2007. The fence was put up in 2010 or 2011, and the graffiti appeared soon after, she said.

Brown said she had to get a fence after experiencing some previous problems with vandalism. She said her security light was shot out, and she caught the two boys who committed the act. Those youths had been walking through her yard and stealing things like gas, she said.

Her mailbox was also destroyed, and she had to put it back up, she said.

There are no other residences close by, and Brown she is the only one on her road who gets graffiti on her fence. She said she can hear people ride through the area at night, and they often throw items such as shoes or garbage over the fence and into her yard.

“It’s cruel,” she said. “They should just leave me alone.”

Other people in Isabel have also experienced problems with theft, Brown reports.

“They’re stealing stuff,” she said. “It’s just horrible.”