Lawton do-gooders handcuffed

Last week, authorities arrested one of those police say defaced a Lawton landmark and Monday some volunteers tried to clean up the mess on Lawton's historic Fairmont Creamery.  But, while they were busy doing what they thought was a good deed, police showed up and handcuffed them.

They were let go in the end, but one man was nearly arrested.  Lee Bolongia said he was trying to help out when the police tried to arrest him.  "Me and some friends decided we wanted to help out to clean up the graffiti work around Lawton," said Bolongia.  "We got permission to come and clean up from some of the business owners to work on them and help out."  And they succeeded in painting over most of it

Bolongia says he got permission from someone who he thought was the owner.  "I had nothing to do with this," he said.  "I volunteered to come out and help, and I'm in handcuffs because I'm helping."  .  But, the co-owner of the building didn't know that permission had been given and called police to sort things out.

He said that in his view it was unfair to blame all this graffiti on one group of people since it had been happening for years.  "I'd just like to point out the fact that grafitti has been on the building for many years and now, just because they find someone to blame for it, they are blaming all these charges on one group of people," said Bolongia.  But police say they have proof that the man arrested last week is responsible for much of the graffiti around Lawton and on the creamery.

Bolongia said the business owner found him at the creamery in his volunteer clean up effort and after misunderstanding his intentions, Bolongia said the owner had him handcuffed.  But, despite the confusion, the owner of the building decided not to press charges and had the police release him.  Lawton Police say they are looking at a group of people who they think is responsible but they wouldn't say if Bolongia is a part of the investigation.  They plan on making more arrests this week.