Graffiti vandalism delays Jon English expansion

On April 27, a graffiti vandal tagged and ransacked Jon English Studios at 2929 Lyndale Ave. S. The vandal destroyed patio furniture and statues located in a small courtyard and signed the top of the building front with a tag.

Jon English, owner of the Jon English salons and studios, estimated damage at $10,000. He said the police know who vandalized his business and are looking for the suspect, identified by his tag. At press time, no one has been arrested.

English said the police told him the suspect has been arrested numerous times for similar offenses. He said he was frustrated to discover that and is upset that society blows off such crimes, allowing them to perpetuate.

Sgt. Rick Duncan, graffiti coordinator for the Minneapolis Police 5th Precinct, said he is unsure whether more than one person committed the crime. He said police have physical evidence from the scene, such as blood and footprints at the scene. Once caught, Duncan said police plan to charge the suspect with felony damage to property, which would carry jail time and a fine.

Beyond the current five-figure damage to the building and courtyard, English said over the years he ends up spending hundreds of dollars a year cleaning up graffiti. Although English said he's not doing it anymore, most signs of the graffiti tagging were cleaned up two weeks later.

He said he is installing a 24-hour alarm system to deter further vandalism.

However, because of the crime, English said he's postponing his plans to put in a spa and salon at his current studio space.