Police search for suspect in vandalism of Oxford's square - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police search for suspect in vandalism of Oxford's square

By Daniel Hight - bio | email

OXFORD, MS - (WMC-TV) - Investigators in Oxford are trying to find out who vandalized the historic city square.

On the square Ajax diner is the go-to place. "Its just good home cooking," said Ajax manager Megan Patton. "One of the more popular restaurants in town."

On January 31, when Patton came to work, she was unhappy by what she found. A smiley face had been painted on the restaurant wall.

"It had two eyes and a nose and a smiley face and I guess a roman numeral nine," said Patton as she motioned on the wall.

The Oxford Police Department said a vandal spray-painted three businesses on the square, including Ajax Diner.

"You've got these historic beautiful buildings on the square," said Patton. "it just seems senseless."

According to investigators, vandals also defaced the historic Skipwith Cottage and a law office. Police Chief Mike Martin said the vandals painted mountains, suns and scissors on the buildings.

Patton said vandalism on the square is rare. "No, you don't see it happen ever," said Patton.

What Patton wants to know is why someone would target Ajax and, with all the foot traffic on the square late at night, how come nobody saw anything.

"It would be nice to know if they could catch them," said Patton.

While police say they have no leads, Patton believes teenagers are responsible.

"It just seemed like some immature little drawing," said Patton. She hopes the vandals are caught. She said the square is no place for graffiti.

"These buildings are beautiful," said Patton. "I hate to see someone deface them like that."

Oxford Police said the vandals, if caught, could have to repay up to three times the cost of monetary damages. Police did not know what that number is.

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