By Molly Priddy, 6-26-12
The Whitefish Police Department arrested two people in connection with a May 30 vandalism incident at Whitefish High School.
Kristin Langstaff, 21, of Whitefish and Clayton James Larsen, 19, of Evergreen, were arrested for misdemeanor criminal mischief. On May 30, the sign at the front entrance to the school was spray-painted black and orange, along with several windows and sections of sidewalk. The school's security system recorded the whole event.
Police stopped Langstaff 20 minutes after the vandalism for a running a red light. There was an unknown male in her car. The next day, the officer who cited her recognized her on the tape of the vandalism, and he also remembered seeing the two stop at a grocery store in Evergreen after the traffic stop.
Video from the grocery store helped identify the unknown male as Larsen, according to the police department.
Investigators say that both Langstaff and Larsen were interviewed and admitted to their roles in the crime. Both were home-schooled, and have no connection to Flathead High School, which sports orange and black as its colors.
If convicted both face up to a $500 fine, up to six months in the county jail, and restitution to the school.
"Graffiti costs the tax payers millions of dollars nationwide and most recently Whitefish, Kalispell and Columbia Falls have experienced an inordinate amount of 'tagging,'" Chief Bill Dial said in a statement. "Citizens are encouraged to call law enforcement should you see persons defacing any property and if you are a victim to notify the police and quickly remove the graffiti to discourage future tagging."
[End of article]