by Chris Hendrickson
– The Monroe Monitor –
It took the city of Sultan over two years of careful negotiations to get new monuments placed along U.S. 2. It took vandals barely over a month to tear one of them down.
Sometime before midnight on Saturday, Nov. 16, an unknown individual drove a vehicle through the circular-shaped center island of the roundabout located at U.S. 2 and Rice Road, dismantling the city’s new sandstone “Welcome to Sultan” monument. The monument, which was completely dislodged from its gravel setting, was left lying in the dirt with broken bits of sandstone scattered haphazardly nearby.
An off-duty Snohomish County Sheriff’s officer noticed the destruction as he drove by at approximately 11:45 p.m. on Saturday night, and phoned the Sheriff’s Department to report the damage.
“That type of vandalism is just uncalled for,” said Sultan City Administrator Ken Walker. “It’s fixable, but it will cost money.”
Wide tire tracks can be seen in the roundabout where the vehicle repeatedly drove through the landscaping, knocking the foliage askew and dismantling the monument.
The recently-placed monuments were the result of a $10,000 Snohomish County Tourism grant that the city of Sultan received two years ago. They were installed at around 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10. There was a Sultan City Council meeting that night, and once official word was received that the signs had been installed, the councilmembers had cheered.
The monument, which was nearly six feet tall, was five feet wide. During the installation it was sunk 14 inches into the ground and then backfilled with gravel.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s is looking for any information that could lead to the identity of the individual responsible for the vandalism. It is believed that the perpetrator drove a large truck-type vehicle, that most likely sustained body damage.
“At this point in time we don’t have any witnesses to what happened,” said Sultan Police Chief Lt. Monte Beaton.
Lt. Beaton is encouraging anybody who might have seen or heard a vehicle driving over the Rice Road roundabout on Saturday night to please come forward.
The investigation is currently ongoing. Anybody who has any information should call the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 425-388-3845 or contact Deputy Dave Crandall at the Snohomish County Sherriff’s Office East Precinct in Sultan at 425-388-6260. Case number: PP13-536.
“Just do the right thing,” said Lt. Beaton. “That’s what we need someone to do.”