Police: 2 wearing Addams Family costumes sought in Halloween vandalism

St. Augustine business owners worried graffiti will frighten away tourists

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – No arrests had been made as of Friday in a case of graffiti vandalism on Halloween in St. Augustine's historic downtown area.

The St. Augustine Police Department released a surveillance images this week, saying the two seen in one photo are wanted for question in connection with the graffiti vandalism on Oct. 31. 

Police said a woman in her early 20s was dressed up as "Wednesday" and the man in his mid- to late-20s was dressed up as "Pugsley" from "The Addams Family."

On Friday, four tags could be seen on a Charlotte Street business, but further down the street, the word "gouge" appeared on nearly every street corner -- on trash cans, light posts and buildings.

According to police, "gouge" is slang for "get high," or "get stoned."

So far, police said, they've found 63 tags, and there could be more around the city and across St. Johns County. News4Jax spotted the same word on a fence just off the interstate. 

Business owners along the city's historic corridor, which is typically filled with tourists, said they're frustrated. The vandals hit a light pole right outside Louis Baldwin's ice cream shop. 

"It was at the base of the pole here, all along, just right here. You can still see some coming through," Baldwin said. "Grow up. It's just that simple. Grow up. You don't want people doing stuff to your property."

Another business owner, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear, said she's worried the graffiti will frighten away visitors.

"I think it's really sad because it hurts our tourism," she said. "People come and see it and they feel like it's not a safe city to come back to when they see things like that."

Police said the vandals did more than $6,000 in damages -- a cost the city will have to pay.

But some tourists offered another suggestion.

"They should just bring them down here, as a group, take a picture of them and watch them scrub and let them do some hard labor," said Bill Fleming, who was visiting St. Augustine. "That's what I think."

The State Attorney's Office is investigating. Police said the duo could face felony vandalism charges because of the amount of the damage.

Anyone who recognizes the two is asked call Sgt. Etheredge at 904-825-1092. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 888-277-TIPS.

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