Police: Man arrested in vandalism at Knoxville mayor's house

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Police have arrested a man accused of spray painting the word “death” on a garage at a Tennessee mayor's house.

Knoxville police charged Christopher Greg Fortner, 45, with vandalism and resisting arrest on Tuesday in connection with the graffiti at Mayor Indya Kincannon's home, according to a statement from the agency.

Kincannon and a neighbor confronted Fortner on Sunday night after he scrawled the word on the detached garage, according to police.

He drove away from the scene, but two city Public Service employees spotted the Sevierville man “acting strangely” in a parking lot Tuesday and recognized him and his vehicle from news reports, police said. The workers called police and officers took Fortner into custody.

“KPD is grateful to these two city employees for their vigilance and assistance,” the agency said in its statement.

The mayor spoke out against the act in a statement Sunday and called for unity.

“Violence, vandalism and threats are never viable means to an end, under any circumstance,” Kincannon said, adding: “Despite the fact that this was obviously quite personal and hurtful to my family, we will continue to urge unity in this divisive time.”

It was unclear whether Fornter has an attorney who can comment for him.