Graffiti in Denver: Edgewater Cracks Down
The small community of Edgewater bordering Sloan’s Lake is facing a serious problem. Graffiti has been popping up in the community more and more, and it’s starting to worry the residents of the 7/10 of a mile community.
Since September, there have been over a hundred incidents of tagging in the neighborhood. But the issue flew under the radar until a night in October, when one of the taggers struck over 30 times in a single night, hitting garage doors, fences, and dumpsters in the community.
But some of the tags have hit closer to home then cosmetic damage on a wall. William Wellisch’s statue in his front yard was struck a few weeks ago. In an interview with the Denver Post, Wellisch said it was as if they had broken into his home and rifled through his underwear drawer. “I felt violated,” he said, “I just think it’s senseless.”
The graffiti is also more significant than just paint on a surface. Many Edgewater residents shared Wellisch’s sentiments of feeling violated. Denver Police have received many tearful reports of people finding these tags. The quiet neighborhood is home to many seniors who see the increase in graffiti as gangs moving into the neighborhood.
But the situation isn’t entirely hopeless. Denver Police have already made three arrests in the case, drawing two confessions. They have been working closely with Jefferson High School and other neighborhood organizations to identify the source of the graffiti, and organize restitution for those who have been hit. According to them, the largest contributor to the tagging is neighborhood teenagers, not gangs.