MLK mural on SR-94 vandalized: Caltrans asking for public's help in getting info about the suspect

Caltrans asking those with info to contact CHP

SAN DIEGO - A massive mural dedicated to civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been restored after graffiti vandals defaced it Thursday night.

The mural, which is 20 feet tall and 225 feet wide, is located on a retaining wall on the eastbound side of state Route 94 after the Home Avenue exit. It can be seen from hundreds of homes in the Mount Hope area.

"That's pretty messed up for them to do that," said Mount Hope resident Javier Villanueva.

The California Highway Patrol said someone used pink paint to splatter giant letters across most of the mural Thursday night. The words appear to spell out "OCP KINGS."

San Diego police told 10News, OCP stands for "Out Causing Panic," a notorious graffiti vandal gang with ties to the South Bay. The Los Angeles Times reported 31 members of the crew were arrested in 2009 after damaging hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property in Los Angeles.

The graffiti could also be the work of a copycat.

"Is this the kind of notoriety you're looking for?" questioned Philip Matzigkeit, who painted the mural over six weeks this year.  

A $300,000 grant from Caltrans funded the project, and it was dedicated Oct. 20.

Matzigkeit told 10News he was disappointed by the graffiti but relieved to see the pink paint could be removed.

"[The mural] is covered with anti-graffiti coating and we're finding that cold water, the paint seems to be water-soluble," he said.

Caltrans sent out a dozen workers to wash off the paint.
 

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