Election Night Vandalism at the VAAC

So, down at the dog park today, I heard the news that someone broke into the Washington Street Arts Center sometime yesterday evening.

They ripped open the front doors, drove one of those big “throne” wooden chairs into the wall, and poured lighter fluid all over the carpet in the new downstairs classroom and (I think I remember correctly) all over the big gas stove in the basement.

I don’t know about you, but that last bit makes me think about the possibility of arson-intentions.

Sad stuff.  That carpet in the classroom was practically brand-new.  I hope the police are able to pinpoint a culprit on this one.  Much as I hate to say it, my best advice would be to start by fingerprinting everyone on the Board for the past couple of years.  I’m happy to comply.

I’m sure in the end it won’t be anything so sordid as that (in other words–I’m not saying that’s it at all), but I think it would calm a lot of the community’s and members’ first thoughts considering all the sale of the building talk and bad feelings of last winter.

And, really, it’s not like they have replacement insurance, so it’d be pretty dumb to torch the thing.  Maybe just a drunken rampage?  Simple stupidity and recklessness?  Hmm.

[Update 11/7]: I’ve learned from the comments, below, and other information from the board that the lighter fluid was dumped not on the classroom carpet but an entryway carpet.  The stove was not damaged, but the pilot lights were out–leading to the gas smell in the kitchen.]


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Claire on November 5, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Maybe someone was so drunk they didn’t realize it wasn’t a church anymore. Good thing they didn’t turn on the stove!

  2. Posted by flyingtomato on November 5, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Well, if they did pour lighter fluid all over the stove, I would imagine it would have ignited. It’s a big gas one with pilot lights. So, not sure exactly how many of the details I heard are factual.

    Maybe it was a neo-con trying to find sanctuary after Obama won and then they realized they’d wandered into a liberal artists’ stronghold! The Horror!

  3. Posted by Claire on November 6, 2008 at 7:45 am

    hahaha, that could be! but who carries lighter fluid around?

  4. Posted by flyingtomato on November 6, 2008 at 9:40 am

    I think they probably had some lighter fluid on site for the various charcoal grills that have been used there over the past couple of years.

  5. Posted by Deana on November 7, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Just to clarify – the ligher fluid was poured over a rug in the basement entryway, not the classroom.

    I’ll be first in line to be fingerprinted! :P)

  6. Posted by flyingtomato on November 7, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks, Deana! I’m glad it wasn’t the classroom–that would’ve been even more terrible!

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