CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - It was a rough start to the holiday weekend in Central. Authorities there reported two separate and unrelated acts of vandalism on Thursday night.
The first event involved two women allegedly toilet papering Central City Hall. The prank was pulled two doors down from the Central Police Department, and caught on camera by the city's newly installed security cameras.
The video was posted on Facebook, and Mayor Jr Shelton said the women in the video came forward shortly after and apologized. Shelton declined to identify the women, but said the prank was born from a misunderstanding. The mayor said he talked with the women for an hour and was able to make amends.
The mayor said both women received a misdemeanor citation. The driver has yet to come forward.
While that whole incident was harmless, Shelton said they posted the video online to show any vandalism on city property is taken seriously.
"We felt if we did not draw the line about something happening to city hall or at city hall that who knows what the next thing may be," Shelton said.
In fact, Shelton said the security cameras that caught it all were only put in place after his office started receiving threatening letters from anonymous residents upset at a variety of city issues. He said the threats have raised concerns about security all around the city.
"It only takes one person making the wrong decision and wind up doing something that is tragic and harmful to someone," Shelton said.
The first-term mayor suspects that the root of the unrest is that some residents feel like their voices aren't heard. However, he said more than willing to talk through any problems face to face.
Meanwhile, the second incident has drawn anger from residents online.
Officials also reported that around 20 of the 400 American flags that were put up to celebrate the 4th of July holiday were pulled out of the ground and thrown into the median on Sullivan Road. The sticks supporting the flags were also snapped in half.
The Central Police Department believes the flag incident occurred between 9:30 and 10:45 p.m. on June 30.
"When somebody comes in and desecrates a flag, no matter how small it is or how large it is, I take that very personally. Central is a very patriotic city and it was something that was shameful," Shelton said.
The mayor said he is confident the two women who vandalized City Hall had nothing to do with the flags.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Central Police Department at 367-1254.