Vandals Strike Business During First Friday - 8 News NOW

Vandals Strike Business During First Friday

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LAS VEGAS -- First Friday and the American Country Music Awards is expected to bring around 20,000 visitors to Fremont Street, but not everyone is excited about that.

A1 Office Business Machines owner Rich Attisani said once the people are gone, there's a big and expensive mess to clean up.

"We kind of cringe, you know. We appreciate the culture the arts district brings, but the graffiti and vandalism is getting unbearable at this point," Attisani said. "You've got to bring people in, you've got to scrape the windows, you've got to touch up paint, you're talking about multiple days cleaning up. It's basically just a big nuisance."

Attisani took pictures last month after the First Friday festivities. The images show graffiti sprawled on the walls and windows of his business. There were pictures of broken beer bottles and areas that had been used as toilets.

A1 Office Business Machines has been in business for 44 years and Attisani said the clean up takes hours and has cost thousands of dollars.

"We do take it personally and there are just a few bad apples that are messing it up for everyone," Attisani said.

Branden Collingsworth co-owns the gym next door. He was hit by vandals before, but he doesn't think it was First Friday crowds.

"It's their livelihood when you have a small business and you're trying to make it run and you're destroying their place," Collinsworth said. "When we first opened our gym, we started getting tagged with some of the lower-end tagger's, what we did was reach out to some of the top graffiti artists in town."

Metro Police said there have been reports of damage following First Friday. Police have increased patrols by assigning officers to target taggers and other vandals.

Attisani said he will be back Saturday morning to see if there is any damage overnight. He said, hiring a private security guard to watch the business isn't something he can afford.

He praised Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Metro Police for their promise to crack down on the problem.

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