AP NEWS

Graffiti Mars City

April 3, 2019

WILKES-BARRE — A rash of graffiti appeared across the city Sunday night, hours after a Los Angeles rapper known for his anti-violence efforts was murdered.

The sign at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, the Student Transportation of America facility at 771 Scott St. and 10 school buses were tagged with phrases such as “NIP$EY HU$$LE” on Sunday night, according to witnesses.

Rapper Nipsey Hussle, 33, was fatally shot Sunday outside Marathon Clothing, a store he founded to help rebuild his troubled South Los Angeles neighborhood. Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was engaged to actress Lauren London and received a Grammy nomination this year for his major-label debut.

Janelle Davison, the terminal manager for the STA facility, said she discovered the vandalism Monday morning. The front of the STA facility — which provides busing service for the Wilkes-Barre Area School District — had been tagged along with two garage doors, she said.

Davison also discovered 10 school buses had been vandalized.

“I was angry. I was in disbelief,” Davison said Tuesday afternoon, adding that the company was still able to bus students that morning. “Had they done it to more than 10 buses, that would have affected the entire school day.”

Wilkes-Barre police Chief Joseph Coffay said the vandalism was reported and is under investigation but that police had no suspects.

Davison said two staff mechanics were able to cover up the graffiti on the buses in house, and Plains Twp.-based Tamblyn Painting, LLC offered to fix the building for free.

Davison noted the irony of someone defacing property to commemorate a man who worked as an anti-gang advocate.

“If you’re going to honor the man, you don’t do it with vandalism,” Davison said. “He was the opposite of that.”

But she said she was not going to hold a grudge. In a Facebook post Monday night, Davison offered her forgiveness — and a job — to the person responsible.

“If you need a job and could use a steady paycheck, I could use some help around the bus yard. You can help clean the buses or help with some painting,” she wrote. “It’s never too late to turn your life around. If you truly want to honor this man’s memory, then do the right thing. We need to help each other, lift each other up when we need it.”

Contact the writer:

jhalpin@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2058