Unknown subject vandalizes domestic violence display

Published 6:32 pm Friday, October 20, 2023

LaGrange Police are looking to identify an unknown suspect who vandalized the Clothesline Project on display at Lafayette Square overnight. 

The Clothesline Project is an exhibit of t-shirts with positive and empowering messages created by survivors or loved ones who have lost someone due to domestic violence and supporters of Harmony House, LaGrange’s domestic violence shelter.

The display was placed for the annual Domestic Violence Candlelight Vigil on Tuesday, which the city allowed to stay up throughout the week to allow others to view the heart-moving exhibit. 

Thursday evening around 8:35 p.m., an unknown subject vandalized the display, stealing almost all of the shirts and writing hate speech on others that remained. Police say some of the shirts were just thrown in a nearby garbage can.

LPD Major Dale Strickland said confirmed that the subject was caught on video but police have so far been unable to identify the suspect, who entered the square from the Courtyard Marriot side off of Broad Street. 

The suspect was seen on video wearing a red shirt and khaki pants but their race and gender have not been confirmed.

“We know exactly when it happened. We’ve actually looked at some other videos that we could see them walking up to the square, and we’ve not found anything at this point to get enough to get an identification,” Strickland said.

Ironically, the lights from the fountain that were colored for Domestic Violence Month may have made it harder to identify the suspect. The purple lights flooded out the suspect’s face on the video, Strickland said.

Police are uncertain why the display was vandalized, saying the vandal may have had a mental health issue.

If anyone has any information about the incident, contact the LaGrange Police Department at (706) 706-883-2603.