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Date: 6/20/2012

Officers quickly identify suspects in hateful, vulgar graffiti offenses

Arlington Police Department officials were notified on June 10, 2012, at around 6 a.m. that several graffiti offenses had occurred in a West Arlington neighborhood. The graffiti ranged from spray painted lines to racial slurs, hateful messages and vulgar, derogatory images. The graffiti was painted on garage doors, vehicles in the neighborhood, and other personal property.

While some victims appeared to have been targeted based upon opportunistic reasons, it is believed that one victim was intentionally selected based upon bias and prejudice related to their sexual orientation. This caused immediate concern to police officials and the investigation continued to identify those responsible.

Within a few days of the incident, police officials were able to identify multiple suspects based upon video surveillance footage that was secured by investigators. The video quality was excellent and greatly enhanced our ability to identify and secure criminal warrants for the suspects involved in these offenses. The dialogue between the community, detectives, and the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office played a vital role in bringing this case to resolution so quickly.

A total of five suspects were identified, with four being identified as adults and one identified as a juvenile. All suspects will be charged with Graffiti $1,500-$20,000 which is a state jail felony in Texas. Daniel Sibley, 18 of Arlington, was taken into custody on Tuesday afternoon by detectives. He is currently in the Arlington municipal jail being held on a $2,500 bond. Investigators have been communicating with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office throughout this investigation. Prosecutors will be asked to examine whether or not this incident qualifies for prosecution under the Texas hate crime statutes based upon the apparent bias and prejudice exhibited against one of the victims in this case. If prosecution under this legislation is allowed, the case can be enhanced to a third-degree felony by the judge during the punishment phase of a trial. The crime will also be reported as a hate crime to the Federal Bureau of Investigation through the Uniform Crime Reporting process.  

“We want to send a strong message to the community that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. We take these types of disreputable incidents very seriously and utilize the necessary resources to quickly apprehend the person or people responsible,” said Chief Johnson.

Report #120034018

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Daniel Damian Sibley PICTURE

Vandalism to Vehicle PICTURE
This photograph is an example of the vulgar and disparaging words spray-painted on vehicles during this vandalism.

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