House Majority Whip Steve Scalise outside the RNC’s headquarters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
A vandal struck the Republican National Committee headquarters on Veterans Day, according to Capitol Police.
Around 7 a.m. on Nov. 11, a security guard spotted a young man spray painting a large blue “V” on the front door of 310 First St. SE, according to the police report. The graffiti was thwarted by the guard, who handcuffed the perpetrator and called Capitol Police.
Wilbert Henry Norton, 24, of Floyd, Va., was arrested and charged with destruction of property under $1,000, a misdemeanor. As a condition of his release, he was ordered to stay away from Capitol grounds, including all congressional office buildings.
The RNC paint job appears to be an isolated incident, though other buildings in the area have been targeted in recent months, according to sources familiar with the location.
Asked if there’s been an increase in vandalism around the Capitol grounds, the department provided statistics. To date in 2014, six incidents of graffiti have been reported to Capitol Police. That’s an uptick from five in 2013, but a decrease from 2012, when 10 graffiti incidents were reported on Capitol grounds. Some members faced vandalism in their districts that year, a backlash to passage of the health care overhaul.
In an email, Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the department, said Capitol Police “strategically deploy our assets throughout the Capitol Campus as part of our primary law enforcement mission to protect the Congress, the Capitol Complex, and the legislative process.”
Capitol Police work with the Architect of the Capitol to remove markings whenever graffiti is reported.
Kyle Trygstad contributed to this report.
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