FAIRBANKS — Vandals in downtown Fairbanks targeted multiple cars and three buildings on Monday evening, spray painting orange caricatures and in one instance the words “lone wolf” on structures.
Additionally, at least two vehicles in the parking lot of Chena Bingo were tagged with different writing, but appeared to be part of the same occurrence, according to Fairbanks police.
Two of the buildings — Fairbanks City Hall and the Fairbanks Children’s Museum — have ties to a nondiscrimination ordinance the Fairbanks City Council approved on Monday night that creates equal rights protections for members of the LGBTQ community. Police started receiving reports of the vandalism about 7:20 p.m. Monday.
Police spokeswoman Yumi McCulloch said officials do not currently believe the vandalism is related to the council meeting, “but each officer that has each of those cases is still looking into those things.” About five cases have been initiated, according to McCulloch.
Additionally, a car belonging to one of the ordinance’s supporters, Rev. Leslie Fails of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, sustained windshield damage Monday while parked adjacent to City Hall on Seventh Avenue.
Video footage obtained by the Fairbanks Police Department is inconclusive in determining what happened to her car. Fails didn’t see the video, but spoke with Police Chief Eric Jewkes.
Jewkes told Fails that the footage, which was obtained from a motion-activated camera, does not show anyone approaching the car and does not clearly show when or how the ice impacted her windshield.
Police speculate that ice fell from a light pole, according to Fails and McCulloch.
Fails is certain it happened between 2-3:50 p.m. while she was inside city hall waiting to sign up for public comment. She said it would have been easy for anyone to identify her car, as she visited the vehicle multiple times throughout the day.
“My preferred scenario is that something fell off of a light poll, because I don’t mistrust my neighbors. But given the gravity and other stuff going on ... I’ve been very vocal ... there’s a lot of weird stuff going on,” she said, adding she plans to have extra security at services next Sunday.
Vandalism on downtown buildings had related themes.
The words “lone wolf” were tagged on the north face of a wall leading up to the main entrance of Fairbanks City Hall.
Just east of city hall, on the State of Alaska Employment Services Building, an animal-like face, an item resembling a dream catcher and what appears to be the phrase “vee 781” were painted on the building’s west wall.
On the west wall of the Children’s Museum, near the entrance, a star-shaped formation and a wolf-like caricature were painted, as well as another face on the museum’s south wall.
At Monday’s council meeting, Children’s Museum Board of Directors Vice President Caroline Brown, expressed her organization’s support for the ordinance, saying the board of directors unanimously supports the equal rights ordinance.
“We adopted our own affirmative action policy barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation back in 2015,” she said.
Contacted on Tuesday, Brown didn’t speculate if the vandalism was more than a coincidence. “There’s not much I can say about it. I know that it happened, and I’m saddened that anything like that would happen, regardless of why.”
Contact staff writer Robin Wood at 459-7510. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcity.