TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Seven people were arrested on Saturday after they were seen throwing paint along a sidewalk at Curtis Hixon Park.
According to Tampa police, the individuals were taken into custody without incident for criminal mischief and possibly violating the city’s code of criminal mischief/damage to city property.
Police said the group ranging in age from 22 to 35 showed up to the park with paint and paint rollers hidden in backpacks. They then allegedly threw paint over the sidewalk.
Officers saw it happen and police said it appeared to be done with malicious intent to damage city property.
A Tampa police spokesperson differentiated this group’s arrest and the lack of charges not filed for those who painted a “Back the Blue” mural outside of TPD’s headquarters without a finalized permit.
“While they (BTB) are under investigation, it is clear they met with city staff to attempt to obtain approval for the placement of public art versus individuals who showed up to the park this past Saturday with paint hidden and concealed in back packs with rollers, who then threw paint over the side walk. Officers observed it happening with what appeared to be malicious intent to damage city property.”
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan held a press conference Thursday and told residents any group who paints without a permit will be arrested for criminal mischief.
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