Niles Skatepark and nearby businesses vandalized Labor Day weekend

Photo by Chance Smith Photo by Chance Smith Photo by Chance Smith
NILES, Mich. – The people of Niles woke up Saturday morning to find the skatepark at Riverfront Park had been vandalized with graffiti. Not only that, but nearby buildings also had a run of graffiti across them.

This isn’t the first time Niles has been hit with graffiti either, with volunteers often coming in to clean things up quickly.

A long-time Niles resident, Chance Smith, has a business near the skatepark that was also tagged during the night.

According to Smith, someone walks the alley every night and the graffiti wasn’t there until after they left.

Smith also said that this was the worst tagging he’d seen around the city in twenty years.

“It really is sad. It's never gotten this bad. Usually I don't notice a little bit of graffiti here and there but this was insane! We walk through our alleyways every night and none of that was there last night. So we were just shocked when we walked outside this afternoon,” said Smith.

The skatepark itself was closed down as recently as August 21st due to fights and graffiti, with the city coming together to clean it up a week later.

Conversations on social media sparking a heated debate between punishing those responsible and giving them somewhere to use graffiti as a creative outlet.

Others in the community have already offered to install cameras in the area, some at no cost.

Niles Mayor Nick Shelton has asked that if anyone has any information regarding these activities, to either call the Niles Police Department at 269-683-1313 or leave an anonymous tip via tipsoft.com.

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