Police say a 23-year-old Indiana parolee with white supremacist gang ties was cited last week after admitting to vandalizing the Cleveland skate park.
A tip from an employee at a local business put investigators on the trail of the man, according to police chief Clint Stout. The tipster said the man’s tattoos matched phrases shown in photos of the vandalism in last week’s American.
Stout said the tipster took note of the man’s name at the checkout counter and looked up his profile on social media. A shirtless photo on social media revealed more tattoos that matched the graffiti, he said, so the person called police. Stout cross-referenced the name in a criminal database and found the man was on parole in Indiana for drug convictions and currently is living in Oklahoma. A quick call to the parole office in Hominy, and the man came to CPD for questioning.
“He hem-hawed around it, then when I told him he could be charged in district court, which would be a parole violation, he admitted to it,” Stout said. “Said he did it because he was bored.”
The graffiti covered every piece of equipment at the park. It referenced “Dirty White Boys,” which is a Neo-Nazi prison gang affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood. The man told police he joined while he was incarcerated in Indiana. Also spray painted at the park were the numbers “812,” along with a pentagram. Stout said 812 is the area code in Indiana where the man is from.
In his mug shot accessible through the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, he has tattoos on his neck that indicate that area code as well as DWB. Social media photos show a pentagram on his torso.
Stout said the man indicated he plans to stay in the area for the next five years while he finishes the terms of his probation. He currently is living with family in Osage. He reportedly told police he came here to get away from the crowd he had been associated with and to “stay out of trouble.”
The citation for destruction of city property carries a $584 fine in Cleveland municipal court. The man was not arrested through district court, and Stout says the city likely would have seen restitution if that had been the case.
City crews worked on removing the graffiti last week, and it took a little more elbow grease than previously thought.
“He used primer instead of regular paint, so it really stuck on the equipment,” Stout said.
The remover ate a lot of the original paint off as well, so it will require another paint job, according to the city. Stout said he is grateful that the private citizen was aware of current events enough to spot something amiss about the man.
“Goes to show the community can help us, provide information and help hold people accountable,” he said. “We can’t be everywhere at once and we only have so many sets of eyes. When the community participates like that, it is key.”
Stout reiterated this week that officers regularly patrol the skate park because of crime and vandalism and will continue those efforts. The city also has plans to upgrade the lighting around the skate park and swimming pool to make activity more visible.
According to local law enforcement, the DWB gang was prevalent in this area years ago, but has “completely died out.” The Indiana convict is the first they have come across in years, they said.