Taggers hit WindanSea neighborhood in La Jolla

The WindanSea neighborhood was hit by graffiti vandals over the weekend of Sept. 24-25, 2011. Photo: Kathy Day

By Dave Schwab

Walls, benches, streets and the famed Pump House were tagged with graffiti in La Jolla’s WindanSea neighborhood over the weekend.

“Long Live RATT” was scrawled in huge letters on both a retaining wall at the corner of Neptune Place and Palomar Avenue and on construction fencing nearby at Neptune Place and Kolmar Street. “It was on the tower, on every single wall going out to the beach — it was everywhere,” said one local resident who requested anonymity.

Tony Khalil, who supervises city code enforcement including the Graffiti Control Program, said clean up crews were busy early Monday.

“Graffiti is one of those things we have to respond to very quickly,” he said. “We got complaints from citizens, and just went out and removed most of it along those coastal bluffs.”

Brian Davis, a crew member working under Khalil, said a retaining wall on the coastal bluff near 6586 Camino de la Costa “really got hammered” by taggers.

“There were a couple of tags in the middle of the street on Kolmar and Neptune,” he said. “It’s just unfortunate. What occurred was a lot of damage.”

Davis added the trail of graffiti extended from the WindanSea area south along Loring Street into Pacific Beach. The Light is not publishing any photos because police believe taggers are encouraged by seeing their work in the paper.

“It’s probably going to take us a couple of days to get it all,” he said.

Khalil and neighbhors speculated the tagging might be related to the death last week of Connor Wylie Baldassi, whose funeral was held Sunday.

“One of the (gangs), Rats, was eulogizing him in public with the graffiti tags,” he said.

The 23-year-old man was found dying of stab wounds he sustained Wednesday, Sept. 21 in Pacific Beach.

Baldassi was found bleeding by police shortly before 6 a.m. on Emerald Street in Pacific Beach. Police subsequently followed a trail of blood nearby to a home on Bayard Street. A couple in their 20s, who had live cannabis plants, said they’d stabbed a masked intruder who’d climbed in through their window. The couple told police the intruder had demanded marijuana before the scuffle, which led to the stabbing.

A homicide detective said Monday no connection had been established between the tagging and Baldassi’s death.