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Colorado Man Arrested for Swastika Graffiti

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Deputies arrested 33-year-old Michael Obrien Friday. A spokesman for the sheriff’s office says one of their patrol deputies started investigating more than a month ago when they first received a report about graffiti sprayed on signs. 

“We take this very seriously. This could be very offensive to someone,” said Commander Greg Couch,

Investigators say multiple signs were vandalized ncluding business signs and political signs. 

“We definitely wanted to find out who was doing this.,” said Commander Couch. “It’s more than just kids spray painting or damaging something. This symbol is something that has a more broad affect on the public.”

David Rusterholtz, a candidate for county commissioner, tells 11 News some of his signs were vandalized.


“I started getting calls from friends and supporters. They had seen one of my signs with a great big swastika on it,” said Rusterholtz.

He believes three of his bigger signs were vandalized and two smaller ones. 

“I thought, who would do this? The first thing I thought is, why? What kind of person would put a hate symbol like this on a sign?” said Rusterholtz. “This is not how the people of Teller County are.”

The Teller County Sheriff’s Office says they connected Michael Obrien to the crimes with surveillance video. They are digging into his background.

“We don’t have any information to indicate this was some sort of hate crime or anything like that,” said Couch. “He had an issue with the signs themselves, not necessarily the persons represented by those signs.”

Michael Obrien is facing charges of criminal mischief, bias-motivated crimes, harassment, and second degree criminal trespass.