Vandals waited until the day after May Day to damage property in downtown Olympia.
A group of more than 20 masked people, dressed in black, tagged businesses with anarchy-related graffiti and broke windows along Fourth Avenue East at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, an Olympia Police Department spokesman said.
Additional officers were called to patrol the area overnight, but no arrests were made. The group of suspects disbanded quickly after vandalizing buildings on several blocks.
Police estimated damages to downtown businesses at $15,000 to $20,000.
Footage from a parking lot security camera was released Thursday afternoon, and shows the masked figures traveling toward downtown on foot.
The suspects allegedly gathered near Percival Landing Park before proceeding down Fourth Avenue.
The path of destruction along the street began at the corner of Columbia Street Northwest, and covered several blocks before ending at Franklin Street Southeast, Lt. Sam Costello said.
Several buildings along Fourth Avenue, including the former Schoenfeld Furniture building (which is now vacant) at the southwest corner of Capitol Way South, the U.S. Bank branch across the street, and the 123 on Fourth Avenue apartments were tagged with graffiti or had broken windows.
Businesses on both sides of Fourth Avenue, such as Harlequin Productions and Quality Burrito, and the former Downtown Ambassadors' Welcome Center location were vandalized.
More businesses on Columbia Street, between State Avenue Northeast and Fourth Avenue, also were targeted.
Someone associated with the group that caused the damage has posted a narrative of events on the Puget Sound Anarchists’ website.
Costello said the extra staff on duty Wednesday night was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The first damage was reported at 9:32 p.m. Police responded about four minutes later, and encountered the group at Fourth Avenue and Franklin Street where they disbanded in small groups, he said.
Rocks were used to break windows, which police think came from an area near Percival Landing, Costello said.
Police plan to have extra staff on duty for the next few days.
“It’s regrettable we had any damage, but we’re fortunate there wasn’t more damage,” Costello said.
The group also left several fliers littering the sidewalk. Topped with the phrase, "Olympia needs a makeover," the fliers criticized gentrification of the city, the local government, and Olympia police, claiming the city is being formed into a "pristine yuppie dystopia."
"You want a spotless city to be enjoyed by an elite few ... we're going to take a dump on it," the note continues.
Workers were still scrubbing graffiti from buildings late Thursday morning.
U.S. Bank appeared to take the brunt of the damage with multiple shattered windows, broken glass on its front doors and graffiti covering most of its outer walls.
It also appeared to be the only downtown bank that was targeted. Its nearby neighbor, Olympia Federal Savings, was not damaged.
Some parking meters along Fourth Avenue also were damaged.
Taggers left a variety of derogatory and threatening messages in spray paint up and down Fourth Avenue that targeted banks, law enforcement, and the state. Most of the messages were erased by Thursday afternoon.
Wednesday night's destruction followed what turned out to be a largely uneventful May Day on Tuesday.
Only one business, a Wells Fargo bank branch in Lacey, is known to have been damaged that day.
Several businesses downtown closed early or never opened Tuesday in anticipation of destructive protests similar to what happened in 2017.
U.S. Bank boarded up its windows that afternoon as a precaution, though it removed them prior to Wednesday night.
Increased Olympia police patrols watched a peaceful gathering in Sylvester Park on Tuesday afternoon, and responded to a call about protesters at Mayor Cheryl Selby's residence in the early evening.
But the annual International Workers Day otherwise passed without incident.