Graffiti gives Senita residents rude awakening

 

January 7, 2013 - 4:28 pm
Senita residents woke up to graffiti Monday morning. Michelle Winegard photo

Graffiti along a wall fronting Santa Rosa Parkway and on the side of one home facing the roadway appeared in the Senita subdivision early Monday.

The most prominent graffiti was scrawled on the side of Ana and Manny Escobar’s home at Marty Lynn Road and Santa Rosa Parkway.

Ana Escobar, who moved into the house with her husband about a month and a half ago, said she found out about the vandalism when a Maricopa Police Department officer knocked on her door.

“I don’t know if they thought the house was empty because it was empty for a long time,” Escobar said.

Escobar didn’t think the message, a common “F bomb” insult, was specifically aimed at her and speculated that it might be young kids or teenagers.

“I just thought it was them,” Escobar said. “Because today is the first day of school, you know.”

The incident still puzzled her, she said, because although the kids wait for the school bus on the corner in front of her house she had never said anything to them.

“They don’t know us or who we are,” she said.

Escobar, a Realtor, said she had worked until 3 a.m. and had not heard any noises when she went to bed.

Her husband, who commutes to downtown Phoenix, left the house between 6:30 and 6:45 a.m. and had not seen any graffiti, she said.

Escobar said her husband was planning on driving back from work immediately to cover the paint once he heard about it. She said they plan to add security cameras to their home.

About two blocks down the road, Tamara King, a Senita resident since 2007, found the phrase “Don’t bow down” spray painted on her wall at Camino de Janos and Santa Rosa Parkway Monday morning.

That message faces Camino de Janos Street. Nearby, also facing Santa Rosa Parkway, vulgar epithets were spray painted.

King said she was alerted to the vandalism by a knock on the door from a concerned neighbor about 7:30 a.m.

It was first time she had seen graffiti in her part of the subdivision, she said.

King notified the Senita Homeowner’s Association, MPD and the city.

“We’re pretty sure it’s some kids not acting appropriately,” King said.

An MPD spokeswoman said there is no confirmation the vandalism was targeted at any specific person.

“As long as it’s not biased graffiti, it’s generally criminal damage,” said Officer Jenny Alsidez.

Alsidez said the police did not have any suspects.

The city attempts to cover graffiti visible to the public within 24 hours of the incident being reported or by the end of the next business day, city spokeswoman LaTricia Woods said.

During the 2011-2012 fiscal year, 995 graffiti images were covered, 95 percent within 24 hours of being reported, she said.

Thara Tenney, who has been a resident in the same area for three years, said she was “disappointed” at the spray painting.

“There was some graffiti about a year ago, but nothing like this,” she said.

The previous incident was a single scrawl, “just like a gang symbol,” and was painted over very quickly.

“I don’t aspire to live in a spray-painted neighborhood,” Tenney said.

Marc Ackerson, a resident in the subdivision since 2007, said he, too, was surprised to see the vandalism.

Ackerson said it was the first time he’d seen graffiti in the area, adding he didn’t’ think it targeted anyone specifically.

The city’s graffiti hotline is 520-316-6900.

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