Canadian Charged With Spray Painting Names Over Famous Rock Outcrop In Grand Canyon National Park
A Canadian man, reportedly hoping to impress his children 20 years from now, spray-painted part of his name on a famous rock outcrop at Grand Canyon National Park, according to the ranger who interviewed him.
When asked by Ranger David Robinson why he had defaced the 'Duck on a Rock' outcrop on the South Rim, Lucien Lionel Chenier, of Ottawa, Ontario, "stated that, 'it was so special that if he left his name then his kids would be able to see it 20 years from now,'" according to a complaint the ranger filed with U.S. District Court officials.
Mr. Chenier used red spray paint to spell "LUCI" on the feature, which is located between Grandview and Yaki points on the South Rim just of East Rim Drive, according to the complaint.
A National Geographic tour leader described Mr. Chenier to the ranger when he arrived on the scene about 6 p.m. Monday after he received a report of the vandalism.
"The tour leader pointed out spray paint on the rock, which I could clearly read as 'LUCI' in bright red spray paint," Ranger Robinson wrote in the complaint. "I observed a male matching her description as the vandal walking towards me from the direction of Duck on a Rock. I made contact with the man and asked where he had been. He replied by pointing down at the rock where the red spray paint was visible."
Furthermore, the man reportedly told the ranger that he threw the spray paint can into the canyon. The complaint cited two criminal counts: one of damaging U.S. property in an amount in excess of $1,000, and a second for disposing "of refuse in other than a refuse receptacle..."
"Chenier admitted that he spray painted the letters 'LUCI' in red spray paint on the Duck on a Rock Feature. Chenier told me that he intended to write his full first name, Lucien," the ranger wrote. "He stopped only because the tour leader and bystanders started yelling at him.
The Duck on the Rock overlook "is one of the original parts of the original East Rim Drive and was one of the first carriage stops for tours in the 1930s when traveling from Grand Canyon Village to Desert View," Ranger Robinson noted in his complaint. "The Duck on a Rock feature is known as one of the more photographed geological features along the South Rim."
Removing "LUCI" from the rock feature will cost an estimated $8,000, the ranger noted after the park's cultural resource experts, who specialize in preservation of cultural and natural resources, examined the damage, the complaint said.
"The location of the damage complicates the removal, as a restoration team will have to work from a high angle with ropes and safety mechanims, which adds to the cost of removal," it added.