Man accused of vandalizing downtown Riverside murals – Press Enterprise

A 49-year-old Riverside man faces vandalism and hate-crime charges following his arrest Thursday, Nov. 19, after someone used spray paint to deface several downtown murals — many of them related to civil rights.

Paul Phillip Powers was booked into Robert Presley Detention Center on five counts of felony vandalism, one count of misdemeanor vandalism and one count of misdemeanor hate crime vandalism, the Riverside Police Department said.

“Due to the current bail schedule for non-violent offenses, Mr. Powers was released from jail on a ‘Notice to Appear’ citation,” Officer Ryan Railsback, a department spokesman, wrote in a news release.

On Nov. 2, a half-block long mural of civil rights leaders and smaller murals of George Floyd and the mother of a 14-year-old Mississippi boy who was killed in the 1950s were defaced with a black line of paint. The buildings defaced included the Fox Performing Arts Center, Riverside Food Lab and the Civil Rights Institute.

The investigation led police to Powers, who was arrested Thursday on Second Street, according to the county jail log. Powers does not have a documented criminal record in Riverside County, Superior Court records show.

Police ask anyone with information on the crime to contact Detective Edward Vazquez at 951-353-7955 or evazquez@riversideca.gov. Anonymous tips may be emailed to rpdtips@riversideca.gov or sent to the Riverside Police Department’s mobile app “Submit a Tip” feature while referencing report No. 200028985.


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