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Three teens arrested for vandalizing Pride crosswalk with scooters

Three teens arrested for vandalizing Pride crosswalk with scooters

Three teenagers — two minors and a 19-year-old — were arrested in Spoken, Washington after security cameras revealed them defacing a Pride display painted on a street front at a public park. Now the company that provided the scooters used in the vandalism has implemented a high-tech solution to prevent further vandalism.

Recordings showed 19-year-old Ruslan Turko and two unidentified minors defacing the painted Progress Pride flag using Lime scooters to produce skid marks across the display.

A group of volunteers had just repainted the streetscape a second time after two previous acts of vandalism.

Police were alerted to the vandals by eyewitnesses, who called 911 to report “multiple subjects on scooters were causing damage to the newly painted Pride mural.”

One member of the trio allegedly shouted an anti-gay slur as he defaced the painted flag.

On scene, “officers observed widespread damage as black scuff marks consistent with scooter wheels were observed across the entirety of the mural. The area is clearly marked to keep traffic away as it was just re-painted to repair previous damage.”

The three teens were arrested on charges of 1st Degree Malicious Mischief after being identified in city security camera recordings.

At his arraignment, prosecutors asked for a $15,000 bond for Turko, explaining that amount would be the cost of repainting the mural yet again.

Even after the three teens were in custody, another group of boys descended on the Pride mural, also on Lime scooters, as a journalist was reporting on the previous vandalism.

“A group of five to six kids just starting doing donuts and creating skid marks on the Pride Mural,” KHQ reporter Adam Schwager posted to X. “Right in front of me as we’re reporting on three people getting arrested for doing the same thing last night.

The arrests could mean significant time for the three teens.

In March, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed legislation that allows judges to hand out significant fines and jail time for offenses that deface property and are also deemed a hate crime.

The scooter gang could serve up to five years in jail under the new law.

There was some pushback online over the idea that a Pride mural painted on the street wouldn’t be subject to defacement by vehicles, intentional or not.

Nevertheless, Lime, whose scooters the teens used to vandalize the mural, jumped in with a high-tech solution to prevent further damage using their transportation.

“All of us at Lime condemn these vile acts in no uncertain terms,” Lime Director of Government Relations Hayden Harvey told Sinclair Broadcasting’s far-right headline news show The National Desk.

“At a time when our teams at Lime are beginning Pride celebrations around the globe, it is disturbing to see the hate taking place in Spokane.”

In response, the company has implemented a “no-go zone” over the crosswalk. Entering a “no-go zone” will cause a Lime vehicle to “gradually come to a stop,” forcing a rider to walk their scooter until it’s outside the proscribed area.

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