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APD arrests suspect in GOP HQ vandalism case

Spray painted words “still traitors” are shown on the front of the headquarters of the Republican Party of New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., on Monday Feb. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

A former congressional intern for Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is believed to be the man who painted the words “Still Traitors” on Republican Party headquarters in Albuquerque last weekend.

Albuquerque police arrested Cameron Chase McCall, 30, Wednesday on a charge of criminal damage to property over $1,000, a fourth-degree felony. Surveillance video footage and an anonymous tip led to his arrest, according to the criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

Lujan Grisham spokesman Tripp Stelnicki confirmed that McCall was an intern for Lujan Grisham when she was a member of the U.S. House. Stelnicki said the governor condemned the vandalism.

“It’s flatly unacceptable behavior,” he said in an email to the Journal. “The suspect was an intern in her Congressional office for a brief period, and that fact amplifies her already extreme disappointment in what took place. There is no space for this kind of juvenile nonsense in our politics – and it is entirely out of step with what the governor expects of employees, whether past, present or future.”

The Journal was unable to reach McCall’s attorney, Alexandra W. Jones. But Jones told The Associated Press her client didn’t do what he’s accused of doing.

“This was poorly investigated and based on an anonymous tip,” Jones said.

The vandalism is believed to have occurred around 2:40 a.m. Saturday, when surveillance video shows a vehicle parking in the lot outside the building.

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Cameron McCall (Metropolitan Detention Center photo)

The video shows a man walking out of the vehicle with a can of spray paint in his hands, and appeared to show him painting words on the front of the building.

The words “Still Traitors” were painted in yellow and gold outside of the building on San Francisco NE.

According to the complaint, the vandalism was reported to police by state Republican Party Executive Director Anissa Tinnin, who provided an Albuquerque police investigator with a copy of the surveillance video. She also provided the officer with the identity of the suspect through an anonymous tip. She told the investigator that McCall was “heavily involved with the Democratic Party.”

The officer identified the vehicle involved as a Jeep SUV.

The officer was also able to identify McCall as the suspect through McCall’s Motor Vehicle Division photograph and his photo on Facebook. Television reports identify him as an employee of Expo New Mexico.

Damage to the building is estimated at $4,000. Tinnin told the officer that McCall had never threatened the safety of the staff but that several staff members expressed concern for their safety after the incident.

Tinnin told the officer the building had been previously vandalized, on March 13, when someone spray-painted the word “Traitor” on the building, causing $2,000 in damage. The state Republican Party installed a video surveillance system after the incident.

The Republican Party declined to comment about the arrest.

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