By Brett Gillin
Police in Venice Beach California are on the lookout for a graffiti “artist” who chose an interesting medium to tag. Last week, someone wrote the letters “RBS” in silver paint on the back of a police horse, and the Los Angeles Police Department is not taking the matter lightly. They are asking anyone with information to come forward so the criminal can be charged.
According to this news release from the LAPD, the police horse, known as Charlie, who works with the LAPD Metropolitan Division’s Mounted Platoon was vandalized while working a crime suppression detail at Venice Beach. LAPD Detective Joe Rios told the New York Daily News that the criminal most likely used a metallic Sharpie pen to mark the horse.
“We’re looking for any video or eye witnesses and trying to find out who the usual taggers are for that area to match it up,” Rios told reporters. When they catch the vandal, the LAPD isn’t planning on going easy on him or her. Rather than a simple vandalism charge, the person who did this could also be facing felony animal cruelty charges.
“They might load on the charges just because it’s abuse to an animal,” Rios told the NY Daily News. This is the first time on record that a horse in the mounted platoon has been the target of vandalism. The mounted division, which was created in 1987, now counts 32 horses under their command. These horses are used for everything from crowd management to high-profile crime suppression.
While it may be surprising that no one noticed the vandalism as it occurred, residents around Venice Beach seem to be banding together to help find the person responsible. CBS Los Angeles spoke with Robert Kendall, a local resident, who echoed the feelings of many around the area. “It’s cruel and it’s not respectful. It’s bad for the animals and it’s just people who want to mess with the status quo and I think it’s pretty awful.”
Thankfully, a few hours after the graffiti was found by an officer, Charlie had the initials removed by his handlers without further harm or incident.