MSU students arrested for graffiti

Two Mississippi State students have each been charged with malicious mischief in connection with recent appearances of stenciled graffiti around the city.
Zachary Harris, 21, of 401 University Drive, and Peter Hammond, 22, of 305 S. Jackson St., were released on bonds of $500 apiece following their arrests on the malicious mischief charges Friday afternoon.
Both are art majors at MSU, Starkville Police Department detectives said Friday.
The two were identified after police detectives received a trip through the Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers hotline.
The tip led police to Hammond’s South Jackson Street apartment, where some stencils were found, said SPD Detective William Durr.
“The two suspects cooperated with the investigation, and some of the stencils used in the graffiti incidents were recovered,” Durr said. “Others had already been destroyed.”
Police are working with the two suspects to ensure the graffiti is removed, Durr said.
“We believe all the graffiti will be cleaned up and full restitution will be made to any victims,” Durr said.
The graffiti images — including a “Star Wars” storm trooper, pink flamingoes, a phoenix, a man’s head wearing headphones and the lead character from the comic book “V for Vendetta” — appeared most prominently on the partially-demolished Starkville Bus Tours building on the southeast corner of Jackson and Lampkin streets, the University Drive bridge just east of the Old West Point Road intersection and a utility box at the Russell Street-Highway 12 intersection, as well as other locations.
Police are continuing to investigate other unrelated incidents of graffiti that occurred recently on Louisville Street and in the Greensboro Street-Whitfield Street area.