Reward Offered For Bathtub Rock Vandals

Wednesday, May 28th 2014, 7:09 pm
By: Craig Day

A reward is being offered to help track down vandals who've painted graffiti on one of the prettiest places in the entire state. Many who love the area are outraged.

Bathtub Rock is one of the most unique rock formations along the Illinois River. It's popular with a lot of people, but lately it's been popular for vandals, who have tagged it with graffiti not once, but twice.

People who love the Illinois River take a lot of pride in Bathtub Rock, a formation that makes a beautiful area even more scenic.

"Oklahoma is one of the prettiest states in our union," said Ed Fite with the Scenic Rivers Commission.

Someone who doesn't appreciate the beauty left an ugly scar.

"They're just morons," said Ed Brocksmith.

Save the Illinois River's Brocksmith doesn't hold vandals in very high regard.

"Idiotic people who did this," he said.

Someone defaced the rock formation with industrial paint. Vandals also spray painted graffiti three weeks ago.

"I'm madder than hell," Brocksmith said.

Bathtub Rock is a part of the J.T. Nickle nature preserve, which is owned by the Nature Conservancy.

Fite fears each time vandalism happens, property owners will be less likely to allow public access to private land.

"Really the only issue we've had here in the past has been trash. People not packing out what they pack in," said Fite.

Crews will work to remove the graffiti with the least amount of damage to the rock surface as possible.

"I would hope that, if they're prosecuted, one of the outcomes of it would be that there be a restraining order, that they're prevented from ever coming back to the Illinois River Watershed to the recreation areas and places like this for at least five years or more," said Brocksmith.

Save the Illinois River has generated some leads using social media. They're offering a $1,000 "shame on you" reward in the case.

"Jerks come along and ruin it for the rest of us," said Brocksmith.

Anyone with information in the case is urged to call the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office or the Save the Illinois River Organization, which is offering the reward in the case.