Museum graffiti
suspects nabbed

Two teens allegedly tagged a
wall of a new science center

Honolulu police arrested two teenagers for painting graffiti on an outer wall of the new Science Learning Center under construction at the Bishop Museum.

Police arrested Erich Kennedy, 18, of Salt Lake on Tuesday and charged him with third-degree criminal property damage. He was released on $250 bail after making his initial court appearance Wednesday. Kennedy's next court date is May 11.

Third-degree criminal property damage is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Police also arrested a 17-year-old East Honolulu boy Monday and released him to his parents.

Construction workers discovered the graffiti April 6 on a wall that faces the H-1 freeway.

A museum spokesman called the graffiti an unfortunate incident and said he would rather see the culprits use their artistic talents in a constructive rather than destructive way.

Black dust screens are covering the graffiti as workers try to remove the paint. They were able to remove most of the paint the last time graffiti vandals tagged the wall in November, the spokesman said. No one was arrested for the previous graffiti damage.

Security guards patrol the museum grounds at night but steer clear of the construction site for safety reasons and because it is under the contractor's jurisdiction. The museum is exploring options to prevent the wall from being tagged again.

Construction of the Science Learning Center started in March 2004. Museum officials hope to open it this fall.

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