Man who sprayed over graffiti stabbed

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— A 20-year-old man was stabbed shortly before midnight Wednesday after he sprayed over gang graffiti in the 200 block of East Birch Street.

The Union-Bulletin is not releasing the name of the victim at this time due to the retaliatory, gang-related nature of the crime. The man was treated at a local hospital and released this morning.

"I have to be anonymous," the victim said this morning in a phone interview. "This is going to get me killed."

According to the victim and police reports, the man was attempting to spray gray paint over gang graffiti in the area of Chase and Chestnut streets. Three people believed to be gang members accosted the lone man, took the spray can away from him and warned him not to mess with their gang signs.

"All I tried to do was try to get rid of some of their crap," the man said today. "I'm sick of walking down the street and seeing all the graffiti."

After the spray paint was taken, the people who accosted the victim left. It is not known if the suspects who took the spray can were the same people who later assaulted the man, police said.

Luke Hegdal can be reached at lukehegdal@wwub.com or 526-8326.

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