Statue on mall defaced by paint

Posted: November 16, 2012

The Winchester Star

Someone sprayed graffiti on the pedestal of the Confederate soldier statue in front of the Old Court House Civil War Museum. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER — The soldier couldn’t defend himself, but law enforcement is taking a more aggressive approach.

The Winchester Police Department is investigating graffiti on the rear base of the Confederate soldier statue on the Loudoun Street Mall in front of the Old Court House Civil War Museum.

According to Winchester Police spokesman Lauren Cummings, sometime between 5 p.m. Sunday and 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, “F.A.B.” was spray-painted on the statue, which is dedicated to every Confederate soldier from Winchester and Frederick County who served in the Civil War.

Cummings said police are also investigating the significance of F.A.B.

According to the website of FAB Family, a coalition of graffiti crews that arose in Bandung, Indonesia, in the early 2000s, F.A.B. is an acronym for Flagrant Act of Bombing — although it is unclear if the F.A.B.’s are related.

The graffiti is scheduled to be removed today, according to Frederick County Administrator John R. Riley Jr.

Winchester-based GearClean Inc., a company founded by former city councilman Art Major that provides industrial cleaning services, will do the work free of charge.

Riley said the company will use a removal technique involving a dry ice blast.

“I hope it works,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

Riley said Frederick County is in charge of the cleaning because the courthouse is on Frederick County property.

According to Cummings, the tagging of the statue is a class three misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine up to $500.

Anyone with information, can call Crime Solvers at 540-665-8477.

— Contact Conor Gallagher at cgallagher@winchesterstar.com