UTPD investigates recent defacement of Martin Luther King statue

Sept. 1, 2004

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas Police Department (UTPD) is seeking the Austin community's help in identifying two individuals suspected of vandalizing the Martin Luther King statue on campus.

A videotape of the incident reveals two light-skinned males, approximate ages 17-25, one with short dark hair approximately 5'10" tall wearing a short sleeve white t-shirt and dark pants. The other suspect is slightly shorter with dark hair, wearing a dark colored short sleeve shirt and light colored pants. The two suspects were observed on videotape spray painting the statue with silver paint in the early morning hours Sunday, August 15.

Following discovery of the vandalism, University Physical Plant personnel quickly repaired the damage. Within two hours, the statue was restored with supplies typically used to remove graffiti on campus.
UTPD is conducting a thorough analysis of the video capturing the crime and is reviewing other evidence collected at the scene. UTPD is also attempting to further enhance the quality of the video images. If you have any information about this incident, please contact UTPD at 471-4441.

"The statue of Dr. King is a symbol of the university's commitment to serve all Texans, regardless of race, ethnicity or income," said Larry R. Faulkner, president of The University of Texas at Austin. "The two individuals who attacked the statue in darkness only reinforce that commitment. I am angered by the meanness of spirit reflected in their action, and I am saddened by their poverty of mind.

"But we move on to the future. I thank the members of our Physical Plant,who quickly and proudly removed all traces of the vandalism. Our police officerscontinue to pursue tangible evidence. If their work leads to arrests, we willprosecute to the fullest."

For more information contact: UTPD, 512-471-4441.