Warrant Issued For Man Believed To Be Battle Creek’s Smiley Face Bandit
A warrant has been issued for a man in connection with a series of vaguely positive messages that were spray-painted on buildings late last year.
Late last year spray-painted messages began popping up on buildings in Battle Creek. For the most part, the messages where somewhat uplifting. Along with smiley faces, there were messages like “It will be OK”, “Put the dope down”, and “Look Up”. The smiley faces and related messages showed up on private and public buildings. Most of the vandalism was along Capital Avenue between Dickman and Columbia.
Battle Creek police are now seeking a 33-year-old man in connection to the string spray-painted tags on buildings across the city. A warrant for Bradley Bartelmey was authorized by the Calhoun County prosecutor for malicious destruction of a building of more than $200 but less than $1,000, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer. Bartelmey is accused of painting smiley faces and positive messages late last year as well as several others during a march through Battle Creek in May.
At the time of the incidents, the city’s code compliance manager said that it was getting out of hand. Some buildings that were hit, cleaned up, and then hit again with the cleanup and repair costs soaring into the thousands. Even a city water tower at McCray Park along Eldred Street was marked up with the graffiti.
The charge against Bartelmey is a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of a year in jail or a fine of $2,000 or three times the amount of the damages.