Grim, the graffiti artist who has been scrawling his name on colonial landmarks in downtown Annapolis, may not be a skateboard-riding adolescent, as city officials had speculated, but a student at St. Mary's College in St. Mary's City.
Grim left his diamond-shaped logo all over St. Mary's College campus between early November and Dec. 14, when students left for winter break, said Bill Barker, director of public safety at the college.
Annapolis officials said Grim's activity in the city picked up inmid-December. "It all of a sudden appeared around that time, which is why it drove everyone crazy," City Administrator Michael Mallinoff said.
On Monday, Barker speculated that Grim might be a St. Mary's student from Annapolis. A few hours later, his speculation appeared to be accurate.
A witness saw someone writing on a building in Annapolis Monday night and wrote down the license plate number of the car the graffiti artist got into. It was traced to the family of a St. Mary's student, said Capt. John Wright, head of the Annapolis Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division.
Wright said Barker had given him the name of the student as a possible suspect on Monday.
About 35 of the college's 1,300 students are from the Annapolis area, a college spokeswoman said. The college is about 60 miles south of Annapolis. Students will return from college break later this week.
The Annapolis-St. Mary's connection was provided by an Anne Arundel County resident home on break from the college, who read about Grim's Annapolis appearance in the newspaper.
Barker said there's a student nicknamed "Grim" at the college, but he said he didn't think the student was responsible for the graffiti. "He's not outgoing," he said. "We figured maybe someone was picking on him."
St. Mary's, like Annapolis, has never had a graffiti problem -- until now.
"We've never had a graffiti problem before, until this Grim stuff appeared," Barker said. "It doesn't mean anything to the student body or any group. It's just probably someone who wants people to know he's there and watching."
The letter "i" in Grim's logo is dotted with what appears to be an eye.
A 13-year-old informant had told Annapolis officials that Grim might be a skateboard-riding adolescent who hangs out downtown.
In Annapolis, Grim's diamond-shaped logo has appeared on planters, transformer boxes and the foundations of historic buildings, mostly along Duke of Gloucester and Main streets in the downtown Historic District.
At St. Mary's, Barker said the logo has appeared on pay phones, transformer boxes and student residences, butnot on historic buildings on the campus.
Annapolis officials havehad difficulty removing the permanent magic marker that Grim uses. Barker said St. Mary's officials believe they will have to paint over the graffiti because they can't remove it. Annapolis officials have tried to sandblast the magic marker off some surfaces, but they've had mixed success.
Mallinoff said he received an anonymous phone call yesterday promising that the graffiti would stop. He was even more pleased to hear police had a suspect. "I hope we catch him," he said.