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Police arrest 10 on graffiti charges

Ten people were arrested on tagging charges in three separate graffiti incidents Wednesday, according to Sgt. Curt Gorman of the Merced Police Department.

Gorman, supervisor of the department's Gang Violence Suppression Unit, said Officer Ryan Rasmussen arrested four teenagers, 14 and 15 years of age, at Golden Valley High School after they used felt markers on bleachers at the school.

Officer William Heuer and Field Training Officer Eddie Drum arrested two boys on graffiti charges after they used felt markers to deface an area near the practice ball diamonds at Hoover Middle School, 800 E. 26th St. The boys, 13 and 14 years of age, had marker stains all over their hands. They were released to their parents after their arrests, Gorman said.

Four people were arrested by Field Training Officer Joe Deliman and Officer John Pinnegar of the gang unit after they allegedly tagged a house in the 2300 block of O Street. This incident was called in by a resident and officers found the individuals walking in the 400 block of West 23rd Street. This incident is gang-related, Gorman said.

Paul Romas, 19, and Thomas Wende, 18, both of Merced, were issued citations for possession of tagging implements. Two 16-year-olds were arrested on graffiti charges and ultimately released to their parents. Both old and fresh examples of tagging were detected, according to Gorman.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2485 or