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Neenah vandal was enraged by U.S. Capitol events, apology letters state

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 1:04 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2021 at 8:42 PM CST
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NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - A person claiming responsibility for vandalizing a church and school in Neenah has written letters of apology, with money included to pay for the damage.

Neenah police posted the letters on Facebook. They were sent to Peace Lutheran Church and to Mayor Dean Kaufert.

The person admits to spray-painting anti-Trump graffiti at Horace Mann Middle School and Peace Lutheran Church. He says he was angry about the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. One letter contained $200 for the school and a letter to the church had $400 inside since the damage there was a bit more.

Today, Peace Lutheran Church and the Mayor's Office received a letter apologizing for the graffiti. We appreciate the...

Posted by City of Neenah, Wisconsin Police Department on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The graffiti was discovered on Jan. 7.

“He apologized in his letter. I think his emotions overtook him evidently, and unfortunately that’s what is happening all over this country, people are just losing their emotions,” Mayor Kaufert told us.

Neenah Police Officer Stuart Zuehls said, “Nonetheless, we still want to find out who the person is and talk to them and hold them accountable, because this isn’t acceptable. So we just urge whoever did this to please come forward and contact us.”

“We appreciate the apology however, we still need the person responsible to contact our department,” reads a statement from Police. If you have information, call police at 920-886-6000.

LETTER TO THE MAYOR (Note: we have not altered spelling or grammar in the letter. It is reported as written.)

LETTER TO THE CHURCH

The letters are typed. The letter to the pastor contains a handwritten addition that reads “encl. $400.00.”

Even though this person has tried to make amends, there’s still some debate in the community over whether he should face charges should his identity be found out.

If anything, the mayor says, this highlights the growing tension between those separated by political party.

“The police are actively still trying to solve it. They asked the person to come forward so they can talk to him about it. Whether or not, charges will be filed, I personally don’t know, but I do believe this is a step in the right direction,” Kaufert said.

Police say surveillance video shows the person responsible for the graffiti, who’s described as an older man. They say he appears to have a white beard or facial hair. He might own white shoes.

Part 2 (addition to post from yesterday) Can you ID this person and their vehicle? If so, please contact Officer Douglas at (920) 886-6000, reference 21-00276. It looks like the person has a white beard or facial hair and possible white shoes? Sorry for the poor quality of photo. They're the only ones we have. Thank you in advance! If you have information about this incident, but wish to remain anonymous, please contact the Winnebago County Crime Stoppers at (920) 231-8477; or add the free P3 App to your Apple or Android phone and add a tip; or go to https://winnebagocrimestoppers.org/ to submit a text tip. If your tip leads to an arrest, you may be eligible for a cash reward. Winnebago CountyWide Crime Stoppers

Posted by City of Neenah, Wisconsin Police Department on Friday, January 8, 2021
Security camera photos from graffiti vandalism in Neenah early in the morning on January 7, 2021
Security camera photos from graffiti vandalism in Neenah early in the morning on January 7, 2021(Neenah Police Department)

Anyone who can help identify the man or the SUV is asked to call the Neenah Police Department.

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