DECATUR — A 35-year-old man was arrested Sunday night in connection with the spray painting of variations of the word "traitor" on several buildings in Decatur, including the lobby of the Decatur Police Department and the west entry doors of the Macon County Courthouse.
It marked the second time the man was arrested in two days, Decatur police Sgt. Chris Copeland said. The suspect was arrested Friday night for breaking out the windows of the Decatur Bicycle Shoppe, 1230 E. Pershing Road, which also was vandalized on Sunday, Copeland said.
In an interview with the Herald & Review, Scott Magruder, an owner of the store, said the suspect became upset after being told on Friday that he owed for a bike he had previously taken from the store.
The exchange, which Magruder said involved verbal threats against him and his staff, came after a year of doing business with the man. Magruder said the suspect was told, after making payment for the bike, that he was no longer welcome in the business.
The windows were broken later, he said. Magruder also said cable and internet lines to his business were cut and the locks filled with glue.
According to a sworn police affidavit, video surveillance captured the suspect painting "Traitor " on the glass between the main lobby and front office of the headquarters building at 6:48 p.m. Sunday.
Among the identifying articles of clothing was a "black, one-piece Spandex bike uniform with 'DBS' (Decatur Bicycle Shoppe) printed on it," the affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, video surveillance at the courthouse captured images of the same same person painting the same word on the doors there at 7:07 p.m. Sunday.
The Decatur Bicycle Shoppe had the words "Traitor Scott," written on the plywood boards covering damage to the store front, the affidavit said. "It should be noted that on 8/9/19 (the suspect) was arrested for having damaged the windows the which the boards were covering."
The affidavit noted the suspect told police he was upset with Magruder, "and this is why he damage the windows."
Among the other buildings targeted with graffiti were ENTA Allergy, Head & Neck Institute on the Decatur Memorial Hospital campus and Heritage Behavioral Health at 151 N. Main St., Copeland said.
According to the affidavit, a woman flagged down a Decatur police officer with information about the painting of "Traitor Matrix" on its east doors and supplied a similar description of the suspect.
Surveilance video also captured images of the suspect in the parking lot of the ENTA building, the affidavit said.
The suspect was taken into custody by Decatur police at an apartment in the 3700 block of Portage Place in Decatur on preliminary charges of criminal defacing of property, criminal damage to government property and criminal trespass. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the state's attorney's office.
Copeland said the suspect may also may be linked to graffiti discovered on two other buildings, Macon Resources at 2121 Hubbard Ave. and Crossing Health Care at 320 Central Ave., as well as an investigation into glue being placed in the locks of Decatur Bicycle Shoppe.