Art vandalism

Police charge suspect with defacing Obama mural but he remains on the run

Police charge suspect with defacing Obama mural but he remains on the run

The Breakfast Klub, mural, Obama, February 2013
On Feb. 17, mural owner Marcus Davis of the Breakfast Klub tackled a man with a can of paint near the Obama image. Photo courtesy of KHOU Houston/Channel 11
Obama mural, The Breakfast Klub, defaced, January 2013
The mural was defaced for the third time on Jan. 28 . . . police believe Kroetsch to be involved after receiving surveillance footage. Photo by Cody J. Duty/Twitter
The Breakfast Klub, mural, Obama, February 2013
Michael Dale Kroetsch, Obama, arrested, mural, February 2013
Obama mural, The Breakfast Klub, defaced, January 2013
Obama mural, defaced, The Breakfast Klub, January 2013

The good news is that Houston police have filed charges against a man thought to be behind the recent string of attacks on a Midtown mural of President Barack Obama.

The bad news? Well, he's still on the run.

Officials with the Houston Police Department tell CultureMap that Michael Dale Kroetsch was charged with felony criminal mischief on Friday after investigators identified the 58-year-old man on surveillance footage from a Jan. 28 attack on the mural at West Alabama and Travis.

S uspect Michael Dale Kroetsch is no stranger to petty crime, with prior arrests for check fraud and trespassing at a northwest Houston property.

The suspect is no stranger to petty crime, with prior arrests for check fraud and trespassing at a northwest Houston property. As recently as 2011, court records list Kroetsch's address only several blocks from the Obama painting.

The mural — which was commissioned by the Breakfast Klub owner Marcus Davis and painted by Houston artist Reginald Adams — has been defaced three times, first in early 2011 and again this past fall. Each time, the artwork has been restored in a public event.

Just days after Adams and a team of volunteers repainted the mural a third time, Davis tackled and held a suspect sneaking around mural on Feb. 17 with a gallon of fuchsia paint. Without an actual crime committed, police said they were forced to release the man with the can. It remains unclear if Kroetsch was the suspect caught by Davis.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).

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