Suspect charged in campus graffiti, abstract benches removed for cleaning, evaluation

VCU student Henry C. Blancett was charged with destruction of property, a Class 1 misdemeanor, in connection to the graffiti on Main Street. Photo by Sarah Elson

Sarah Elson, Contributing Writer

A suspect has been charged in connection to graffiti on a VCU sign that serves as a bench outside of the University Student Commons, a VCU spokesperson said.

The seating area, located on Main Street between the Student Commons and T. Edward Temple Building, was cleaned after the Jan. 10 incident. Police records show the damage was less than $1,000.

The graffiti has since been removed by VCU Facilities and Management, a VCU spokesperson said. Photo by Sarah Elson

Police identified VCU student Henry C. Blancett, 18 of Richmond, as a suspect in the incident. Blancett was charged with destruction of property, a Class 1 misdemeanor, in connection to the graffiti on Main Street.

VCU spokesperson Mike Porter said the university police department had been investigating reports of graffiti prior to Wednesday’s incident. This and similar incidents are still under investigation by VCU Police, Porter said.

The white, abstract benches have been removed from campus for cleaning, and VCU Facilities and Management is evaluating other locations where they can be “used and better protected,” said Carolyn Conlon, communication director for the administration division.

VCU added the concrete benches on Dec. 29 and contracted general contracting company SRC Inc. to install them. The VCU sign was installed last semester after the bricks were laid in areas to widen student pathways near Main Street.

SRC Inc. Superintendent Sam Nolan said VCU previously had problems with the benches. Nolan said skateboarders and bikers were damaging them.

“It just became obvious that they were destroying them, chipping the concrete and then also being dangerous,” Nolan said.

Nolan said this is the first time the VCU bench has been vandalized since the installation.

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