Vandals leave mark on Thrill Hill

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Traffic signs and roadway markers in the "Thrill Hill" sector of Moss Chapel Road were disfigured with black paint and obscene language directed at the Hartselle Police Department early Sunday morning.
The word "DUMP" was painted on top of one of two speed breakers, "Hartselle Speedway B…." was used to deface a stop sign and various other sexually explicit messages were left on the roadway in the vicinity of a four-way stop.
Frank Jones, who resides at Moss Chapel and Bonnie Dale Lane, said he believes the vandalism occurred sometime between 4 a.m. and daylight. An empty spray paint can left in front of his garage led to the four-way stop where most of the damage was done.
"We started aggressively enforcing the four-way stop and 30-mph speed limit last week," Hartselle Police Chief Ron Puckett said. "We have issued several citations. This looks like the act of some people who are angry because our police officers are doing their job.
"Those responsible should know that what they did is reckless behavior. It's a criminal offense to deface, damage or destroy public property and we're conducting an investigation to determine the guilty party. This in no way will deter us from enforcing the law."
Public Works Department Superintendent Byron Turney said his crew replaced the damaged signs painted over the paint markings on the roadway on Monday.
"The loss in dollars and cents wasn't all that much," he said. "But it was aggravating for us to have to stop our other work and clean up a mess like that."
Safety measures on the road, which included the four-way stop and speed humps, were implemented about a month ago in accordance with recommendations of a study conducted by a traffic safety engineer. The study was ordered by the city council after a Decatur teenager lost his life in a tragic accident on "Thrill Hill" last December.
"The four-way stop and speed breakers have definitely slowed down the traffic," Jones stated. "Of course, you have a few drivers who go through the stop like it wasn't there.
But that will improve as they are caught and ticketed and have to pay a fine."
Jeanette McAllister, another Moss Chapel Road resident, said she supports what has been done to slow down traffic on "Thrill Hill."
"Our neighborhood is safer now," she pointed out.

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