Early last week, while many people’s thoughts were turning to back-to-back winter storms, a vandal with cans of spray paint traveled the city doing hundreds of dollars in damage to several news organizations.
In this week’s Crime Stoppers report, FOX 56 joins other media outlets in asking for help finding the man who took his right to free speech too far.
Kelsey Mattingly is an overnight producer at FOX 56’S news partner and just happened to look up at the station’s security camera monitor the morning of February 15 to see a man walking up the building’s front steps. It was nearly 2am.
“Just by nature, I look at the security cameras every five minutes or so just to see what’s going on,” Mattingly said. “And i just happened to look up right when the guy started walking up our steps. My first instinct was to call the police because what else do you do when someone is vandalizing the place where you work.”
Ironically, it was all hands on deck that night as every station across town was preparing for another long day of winter weather coverage. It’s why executive producer Shelby McCuddy arrived an hour early and unknowingly came face to face with the man police are now looking for.
“I pulled over and asked if they needed any help,” McCuddy said. “He said no, we’re good. He said ‘the roads started to get a little slick so we pulled over but we’re good to go now,” said McCuddy.
“Two minutes later, before I could even get in the front door, I got a phone call from inside the building saying someone just spray painted our building. I knew right away it was the guy I just saw.”
By morning, Lexington Police would link all the crimes to the same man, covered from head to toe in winter clothing. He was also driving a mid-2000’s, silver or gray Toyota Matrix.
Police believe this is the same man who left similar messages at the health department and Urgent Treatment Centers in late December.
“I’m not sure this individual is in his right mind,” said Det. Anthony Delimpo. “He also made some mistakes. We believe we may have fingerprints, we mentioned the vehicle, it’s pretty unique vehicle.”
Free speech is something all the city’s news organizations can get behind. Vandalism, is not.
Lexington Police say a person like this has likely been very vocal about their political beliefs or feelings toward the media. They may have also made social media posts about it.
If you recognize the man or the car, call the tip line at 859-253-2020. Or you can leave an anonymous tip on the Crime Stoppers website.