Alleged vandals arrested

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 22, 2010

NATCHEZ — Natchez Police have arrested three minors and one adult in connection with vandalism at the Natchez Visitor Reception Center.

Two 16-year-old females and one 17-year-old female surrendered to police Wednesday, Lt. Craig Godbold said. Godbold said the minors reside in Concordia Parish.

Wallace Lee Trahern III, 18, 207 Cross St., Vidalia, also surrendered to police Wednesday. Godbold said the four are charged with felony malicious mischief.

Trahern is being held at the Natchez City Jail until an arraignment date is set, Godbold said. The three minors will be booked, processed and released to their parents.

Godbold and Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins said the public’s assistance in identifying the alleged vandals led to their arrests. Surveillance camera photos of the teens are published in Wednesday’s edition of The Democrat.

“Our phones have been ringing off the hook nonstop with everybody giving these kids’ names,” Mullins said.

The four allegedly entered the visitor reception center at 12:14 a.m. Tuesday, and ripped toilet paper dispensers and paper towel dispensers from the walls in the ladies restroom. Natchez Tourism Director Connie Taunton estimates the damage to be worth several hundred dollars, and said she is considering closing the public restrooms overnight to prevent another act of vandalism.

Taunton said she was overwhelmed Wednesday by the number of anonymous tips she received about the alleged vandals.

“I’ve been really pleased with the number of concerned citizens that have called in and said they thought they knew who it was or knew who it was,” Taunton said. “We even had some who called and e-mailed and said, ‘We don’t want a reward. We just want you to know who it is.’”