GA Cave vandal jailed!

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GA Cave vandal jailed!

Postby Cheryl Jones » Aug 3, 2013 9:55 pm

[reposted with permission]

Cave vandal in jail :banana_yay: :clap: :woohoo:

In the early morning hours of Thursday July 25 an act of cave vandalism
took place in Pettyjohns Cave Georgia. A group of cavers from New York
were coming out of the far reaches of the cave. When they reached the
top of the breakdown mountain in the big room near the entrance they
encountered a swastika painted in bright orange spray paint. It was not
there when they entered the cave. Nearby there was more paint and more
paint. On their way toward the entrance they encountered two people. A
24 year old man with a spray can in his hand and a young female
accompanying him. The cavers exited the cave and reported the vandalism
to police. The police contacted Ranger Tim Gilbreath who met with the
cavers and gathered as much information as possible. He then went to the
scene but the vandals had left. In addition to the cave vandalism he
discovered the same graffiti at a nearby overlook.

Ranger Gilbreath contacted two members of the Pigeon Mountain Grotto to
assist his investigation by taking photos in the cave of the graffiti.
The graffiti consisted of the two swastikas , the "N" word in one place,
several identical sets of lovers initials a few 'beware' and 'danger'
inscriptions. Criminals are not very smart. The two graffiti artist
filled out a cave card prior to entering the cave so the Ranger had
their names which matched the initials painted on the cave walls. A
quick check on facebook found a photo of the two of them together which
matched the description given by the New York cavers.

Ranger Gilbreath then went to the girls address and interviewed her. The
juvenile confessed to involvement. Next Ranger Gilbreath interviewed the
young man who also admitted involvement. After consulting with the
Walker County District Attorney Ranger Gilbreath obtained warrants for
the young man and filed a juvenile complaint on the young woman. They
are both charged with felony criminal damage to government property,
misdemeanor littering, and the man is charged with failure to obtain
GORP permit. The cave is owned by the state so graffiti in it is a
felony. The man has been arrested and is currently sitting in the Walker
County Jail awaiting a hearing.

On Friday evening after the incident the Pigeon Mountain Grotto held an
'emergency' clean up trip to Pettyjohns to remove all of the offensive
spray paint. Eight members spent about three hours cleaning up the mess
prior to the weekend traffic to the cave. The grotto takes the incident
seriously and will assist the New York cavers in obtaining the NSS
Vandalism Deterrence Reward. There is actually a poster describing the
reward on the kiosk near the cave entrance. Ranger Gilbreath worked
tirelessly to pursue this case to resolution and deserves our heartfelt
thanks for his hard diligent work.

Safe cavin,

Allen Padgett
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Re: GA Cave vandal jailed!

Postby NZcaver » Aug 3, 2013 10:48 pm

Excellent. :clap:

Perhaps the vandal's time in jail will allow him to reflect on the error of his ways.
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Re: GA Cave vandal jailed!

Postby PYoungbaer » Aug 4, 2013 4:56 am

I hope the punishment includes making the two vandals clean up graffit on rocks, so they have an understanding of what their little outing caused. Swastikas and the "n" word, really? When will we move beyond that?
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GA Cave vandal jailed!

Postby Ernie Coffman » Aug 4, 2013 5:55 pm

Agree wholeheartedly with what the others have written. Glad to see the NY cavers were on the ball and reported them immediately! :clap:
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Re: GA Cave vandal jailed!

Postby Shane S » Aug 5, 2013 6:25 am

Some people feel sorry for these people and think that they are simply uneducated. The thing about P.J. cave is that knowing they used the kiosk it is clearly marked that vandalism is a crime and what the punishment is for such. These people can't claim ignorance. And to paint racial remarks in the cave, simply intolerable. I recently did a tour of Kingston Salt Peters cave let by Joel Sneed and it's quite heart breaking what has happened to that cave in the past few decades. You can tell from the top remains of many many broken formations that it was once a world class remarkable cave in our own back yard. With a few formations left and the majority of the wall covered in spray paint, it's a reminder of what every cave would look like if it weren’t for efforts from cavers and organizations such as the NSS and SCCI and lobbies getting laws passed to protect caves. I think that many hours of community service being spent to clean petty johns cave should be included in the punishment. :cave softly:
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Re: GA Cave vandal jailed!

Postby graveleye » Aug 5, 2013 7:45 am

The vandalism in Kingston Saltpeter mostly occurred before it's closure in the 80s. I can imagine that if it wasn't preserved it would be way worse now. Our hope is that it be forgotten by the locals and that seems to be working with time.

Incidentally, the worst vandalism of Kingston was not done by drunk kids with cans of spray paint. It was done by saltpeter miners with dynamite.
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Re: GA Cave vandal jailed!

Postby hank moon » Aug 5, 2013 10:22 am

Good on the cavers for getting the law involved, though I question the value of the result. While jail time can satisfy our thirst for revenge, does it actually help shape future behavior, or more importantly, attitudes? It'll be interesting to see the final outcome of this case. Hopefully something more constructive than simple punishment.

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Re: GA Cave vandal jailed!

Postby trogman » Aug 6, 2013 6:33 am

hank moon wrote:Good on the cavers for getting the law involved, though I question the value of the result. While jail time can satisfy our thirst for revenge, does it actually help shape future behavior, or more importantly, attitudes? It'll be interesting to see the final outcome of this case. Hopefully something more constructive than simple punishment.


In this case I think a little of both-punishment and hopefully educating the culprits, is in order. The idea of making them clean the paint off the walls sounds appropropriate.

As far as the content of what they wrote, it doesn't matter to me if they were writing "Jesus Saves." It is all still graffiti, and it is unsightly and uncalled for, as well as illegal. So glad they caught these folks; I hope they have learned a valuable lesson.

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Re: GA Cave vandal jailed!

Postby Wormster » Aug 9, 2013 7:06 pm

I hope he drops the soap in the shower and becomes "Blubba's" biatch!
Madam in the morning I will be sober, but you will still be ugly.
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