'V for Vendetta' symbol painted on Tampa building
TAMPA, Florida - Just five days before the Republican National Convention in Tampa, a disturbing image was discovered on the rooftop of a downtown building on the corner of North Florida and Tyler.
It is hidden from plain view, but it's message speaks loud and clear. The graffiti is synonymous with anarchy.
The symbol is recognizable, known as the face from the popular movie and graphic novel V for Vendetta.
Among protestors, the man with the iconic black mustache and long-pointed chin is a calling card of sorts. This man and the movement he represents are known as "Anonymous."
The "99" painted in red most likely refers to claims by the Occupy Movement that 99 percent of the world does not benefit from our government.
So, what do nearby business owners think about this recent graffiti discovery?
"Why are they here to do harm to our city? What have we ever done to them?" asked Dr. Joseph Papia, who works in the building where the symbol was found on a rooftop.
Dr. Papia found the graffiti by accident.
He treats many members of law enforcement, he said, and was following their advice to fortify his building. When he did a site survey for the RNC, he saw the symbol spray painted on his building and called Tampa Police.
But, what he found nearby also worried him greatly.
"To the right piled up were big bricks," he said. "There were 12 of them."
Tampa police have been monitoring downtown buildings for more than a year, and they are now even more vigilant as the start of the RNC approaches.
Police Chief Jane Castor told reporters, "This is no surprise for us, but we are watching what is happening. There's no doubt that a small percentage of people who are coming here are bent on destruction and disruption."
Dr. Papia and others were very pleased with the quick response from TPD. Crews were sent over to paint over the graffiti, ending the anarchy for now. Helicopters were also seen in the skies over Tampa on Tuesday, checking out the rooftops.
Detectives are continuing to investigate, and the chief encourages anyone who sees this graffiti or a suspicious person to call police immediately. "Don't think that you are bothering us. It's our job to look into this, and we take it very seriously," said Chief Castor.
"When crazy people call you crazy, you know you're sane.