Tybee Island pier vandalized second time in 6 months, police need tips


TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – Vandals have struck again on Tybee Island, according to police. On Wednesday, officers continued their search for a suspect who spray-painted multiple pylons under the South Beach Pier.

Pictures of the six pylons spread quickly on social media when TIPD posted them online with a plea for help. Tybee Police Luitenant Emory Randolph says officers found the vandalism on Monday, during regular beach patrols after the weekend.

“Most of the graffiti was nonsensical: random words, that type of thing,” said Lt. Randolph. “Nothing that would be considered art by any sense of the imagination.”

In mid-September, another vandal spray-painted pylons in a similar way. Police say helpful tips led to the arrest of Christopher Kuharik, who was charged — among other things — with criminal trespassing.

“Interfering with government property is one of the primary charges in this case. It would be a felony. And criminal trespassing would be a misdemeanor,” said Lt. Randolph.

Tybee Island is responsible for security and law enforcement of the grounds. City Manager Shawn Gillen says the city has recommended that crews add cameras and change beach patrol procedures.

Chatham County is the agency that maintains the pier. An official says the graffiti has been cleaned up.

“I do like the idea of cameras. I don’t like a lot of cameras, but around the pier area it wouldn’t be a bad idea,” said Joe Wambo, who lives on Tybee Island with his mother.

Most agree the pier is iconic to the area and — especially — to Tybee’s South end. Residents do not want the beach’s clean reputation to change.

“It’s a wonderful spot. Need to keep it that way. No vandalization,” said Dennis Kalber, who is visiting the area from Ohio.

If you know anything, TIPD says you can reach out to them on Facebook or through the phone. Their number is (912) 786-5600.

“Our community cares very deeply about the Tybee Island Pier and we care very deeply about our community, so we can understand their frustration that somebody would damage such an iconic landmark. We’re actively investigating to identify that person so they can be brought to justice,” said Lt. Randolph.

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