The discovery of vandalism at the Hopkins County Veterans Memorial Friday morning has prompted the offer of a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the damage.
City Manager Marc Maxwell discovered the damage in the memorial's kiosk along with damage to some of the giant memorial stone walls as well as a possible name.
“The stones have been defaced, they've been scratched into with another rock, it looks like,” Maxwell said. “The artwork, apparently, was signed 'juggalo homies' which, I believe, is a reference to a certain band.”
Police investigators were quickly summoned, and the vandalism is being considered a felony crime depending on the amount of damage done.
“This is quarried limestone,” Maxwell said. “It isn't going to be cheap.”
Don Roundtree, a member of Hopkins Count Veterans Memorial Committee who also helped design and supervise the construction of the memorial, was upset and deeply concerned with the disrespect shown by the vandalism.
“Obviously, we would pursue any type of prosecution for this type of activity,” Roundtree said. “With the amount of effort that we've put into this [memorial], it is really an insult to us and is an insult to our entire community. Because of the nature of the memorial, and what it means to our community and to our veterans, and for the lack of respect that is shown here with this vandalism, that is a very significant concern that everyone with any responsibility or sense of pride in this community ought to take offense to.”
The city of Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County Veterans Memorial Committee are offering the $5,000 reward. To report any information related to this vandalism, call Crimestoppers at 903-885-2020 or Sulphur Springs Police Department at 903-885-7602.
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