Chinese National Linked to DC Paint-Splattering Spree

Suspect has mental health issues, police say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2013 10:05 PM CDT
A worker removes green paint from the organ in the Washington National Cathedral's historic Bethlehem Chapel.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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(Newser) – The capital's statues can breathe easy: Investigators believe a woman arrested for vandalizing the Washington National Cathedral is behind at least four similar acts in DC, including last week's paint attack on the Lincoln Memorial, the AP reports. The suspect, 58-year-old Jia M. Tian, is a Chinese national holding an expired visa and is being held pending a hearing next week. She arrived in the capital a few days ago and has told police she lives in Los Angeles.

Police say Tian is suspected of using green paint to vandalize the cathedral, the memorial, and statues of John Henry and Martin Luther—and of splattering a pipe organ in another church with white paint, urine, and feces. The city's police chief says Tian, who had green paint all over her and was wearing a multicolored sock on one arm when police caught up with her, may have "mental health issues" and her motive is unclear. (Read more Lincoln Memorial stories.)

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