The Hampton Park HOA, VA: Reconsideration of the felony charges in the Cal Memorial Tunnel
Hampton Park HOA is attempting to give potentially 30-40 teens felony charges for spray-painting the Jubilee Park Tunnel in Hampton Park in honor of their friend, Mcallister "Cal" Reilly. Cal committed suicide at the Jubilee Park tunnel on June 2nd, 2013.
-Cal's Tunnel FB page
Several friends, grieving the loss of Cal, gathered at the tunnel where he took his a own life, and in a show of solidarity decorated the tunnel. These teenagers spent the days and weeks after Cal's death remembering their friend the best way they knew. They decorated the tunnel with notes, posters, candles and graffiti. The Hampton Park Home Owners Association (HOA), while not thrilled with this turn of events stated verbally that the teens had until July 29, 2013 to repaint the tunnel. Even after a sign-up sheet was posted in the tunnel, which parents and teens both signed, the HOA had felony charges levied against 13 individuals ranging in age from 14 to 48. This petition is being circulated to support those who are still grieving, and to shed light on this angry and hurtful behavior from the Hampton Park HOA. Over 100 people were honoring the passing of a loved one. Currently charges have been levied against 13 with possible charges to be filed against another 30-40 individuals. The charges levied are felony destruction of property (vandalism) and felony conspiracy to commit destruction of property. If the felony charges stick it will have serious repercussions for the teens. This action by the HOA shows a lack of understanding for what people go through after a suicide, and a complete inability to work in good faith with those who are hurting.
We find the felony charges to be excessive. We understand that the HOA has bylaws, and that they should be followed. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that give rise to exceptions. This instance should be one of them. These individuals gathered to celebrate and mourn the life of Cal Reilly in a peaceful and respectful manner. They choose to express themselves through words and pictures spray painted on the tunnel. While this may not have been the "prettiest" artwork, it was them giving voice to the feelings they could not otherwise express. These are not "bad" people, they are individuals who hurt and need acceptance and understanding. Additionally , they agreed to pay for and re-paint the tunnel on or before July 29, 2013. The HOA chose instead to press charges, rather than allow these individuals to fulfill the obligation they had made.
We the undersigned respectfully request that you reconsider these charges.
Thanking you in advance for your consideration.