Answers sought in Bellaire vandalism

WHO did it and why?

These are the questions that Bellaire police seek to find the answers as they investigate the vandalism to the Belmont County Eastern and Northern courts on Monday.

The courts were vandalized with graffiti spray-painted onto the outside of the building including “… the judge,” and “he does coke,” along with “liar” and “cheat.”

Along the sidewalk, graffiti read, “do something mr police please.”

Police said the call was received Monday at approximately 1:42 a.m. Maintenance crews worked all morning to clean up dirty words and comments.

“I have been on the bench about 15 years. This is the first time that I’m familiar with that anything like this has occurred,” said Judge Frank Fregiato of the Northern Division Court.

The judge also praised the Bellaire police and its chief. “I’m really impressed, very appreciative of the Bellaire Police Department, especially the police chief. They were here.

The response was very prompt, and the investigation will certainly be thorough,” Fregiato said.

Bellaire Chief of Police Mike Kovalyk said they hope surveillance video taken from the court building and nearby businesses will help to pinpoint the person or persons responsible.

Officials said it is an act of disrespect for the law.

“It is frustrating. This takes up time and money for maintenance crews to clean up the mess,” said Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland. “It is just sad that people do these kind of things.” The commissioner said vandalism around the county is costly for taxpayers.

Officials indicated the incident apparently is not related to the May 9 incident when a man fled from the court building and caused deputies to fire shots at his getaway car, but it’s still a possibility.