‘Graffiti war’ crosses the Columbia River

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

September 30, 2006

Hood River teenagers are believed to have sparked a “graffiti war” with their peers in White Salmon that has led to damages at a high school and two local parks.

Police Lt. David Thompson said the conflict appears to have started last weekend. He said a group of Hood River students spray painted obscenities, the acronym for Hood River Valley High School and the area code “541” on the walls of Columbia High School in White Salmon.

In an act of apparent retaliation, Jackson Park and the Children’s Park in Hood River were targeted on Monday night by White Salmon youth.

The area code “509” was painted onto equipment and buildings, along with return insults and obscenities. It cost taxpayers within the City of Hood River $950 to clean up the two parks.

“It is unfortunate that teenagers on both sides of the river have chosen to settle their differences in a destructive way that involves all of the residents in both communities,” said Thompson.

He said no suspects have yet been identified in another recent crime spree that is believed to have involved juveniles.

Within the last two weeks, 41 car windows have been shot out with a BB gun in and around Hood River. The cost to repair or replace each pane of broken glass is expected to be at least $100.

“We seem to have some out-of-control juveniles that are causing a lot of problems for us right now,” said Thompson.

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