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Police: Elmwood Park graffiti was expression of gang member’s grief

Anthony Syslo / phofrom Illinois Department Corrections

Anthony Syslo / photo from Illinois Department of Corrections

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Updated: June 24, 2014 2:54PM

Some homeowners in west-suburban Elmwood Park were upset to see graffiti spray-painted on their garages earlier this month — even if it was an expression of grief, police say.

A man police call a known gang member was arrested and faces charges.

According to police reports, the garages of residents on 2900 block of 73rd Court, 2900 block of 74th Court and 7300 block of George Street were tagged with red and silver spray paint.

On one of them, the words “R.I.P.,” “love you Grandpa” and the date “June 16” were spray-painted. There was also an upright pitchfork (an alleged gang symbol) and the phrase “much love.”

A witness told police they saw a man and a woman spraying one of the garages.

Anthony Syslo, 23, of the 2200 block of North 75th Court in Elmwood Park, is charged with criminal defacement of property. Police said they spoke June 17 with Syslo, whom they described as a “known gang member and chronic nuisance.”

Syslo told police his grandfather died on June 16, the report said. That matched the tags police had seen on garages, so on June 19, police went to Syslo’s home to speak with him and asked him to show them his hands.

They had red paint residue that matched the color of the spray paint used on the garages, the report said.

He will appear in court July 29.

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