The Department of Public Safety arrested and charged an employee March 6 with three counts of malicious injury to property for alleged graffiti. The case is currently pending in a Providence district court, said Darlene Trew Crist, director of news and communications at the University.
Trist declined to comment on the identity of the perpetrator or on the specifics of the crime. The University will not release this information because the case is still pending.
Graffiti is a common occurrence on Brown's campus, though employees are not typically suspects.
"We deal with graffiti all the time," said Patrick Vetere, the grounds superintendent. He said graffiti is reported around "three times a week." The University typically spends about $10,000 annually on graffiti removal, The Herald previously reported.
Graffiti is found all over campus - "on traffic signals, blue light posts, buildings and in bathrooms" and is created with "permanent marker, tape, scratches, chalk, paint and lipstick," he said. Some of the more permanent materials must be removed with tough chemicals, high-pressure water and sand-blasting.
"Once reported, it is removed immediately," Vetere said, adding that offensive graffiti is "taken off within the hour." Otherwise, it is usually removed within a day. The immediacy of removal is essential, "so people don't think we allow it."
Last November, the College Hill Neighborhood Association met with the Providence Police Department and DPS about the graffiti issue.
"We are working to restructure our graffiti initiative," said Allison Spooner, president of CHNA. "It is a large enough issue that we thought it was time to create another initiative."
The neighborhood association encourages individuals to personally remove graffiti on their property to discourage additional vandalism in a neighborhood, Spooner said. Graffiti removal kits can be purchased to make personal removal easy.
Providence has a graffiti task force, a group run by the city, that helps with graffiti removal. But this group devotes attention mainly to public buildings, and Spooner said it sometimes takes weeks to get to residents' houses.
Students' views on graffiti, though, are not entirely negative. "I like street art," Lucas Eggers '13 said, "but I think tagging and senseless spray paint detract from the environment."