Vandals target homes of Olympia councilmembers

Screenshot from Jessica Bateman’s home security video, obtained from the Olympia Police Department.

Vandals struck in the early morning hours of Saturday Oct. 31, at the homes of Olympia City Councilmembers Clark Gilman and Jessica Bateman, who live on opposite sides of the city. The two homes, and cars in Gilman’s driveway, were vandalized with white paint from a bottle.

Councilmember Jessica Bateman’s home on Olympia’s eastside was vandalized around 5:00 am on Saturday morning. In security video she provided to OPD, a suspect can be seen approaching the front porch of Bateman’s residence, and squeezing white paint from a bottle on the house, which eventually covers the camera.

The responding police officer estimated damage to Councilmember Bateman’s home at around $1000, which would make it a felony malicious mischief case if the suspect were to be caught. They were wearing a full face mask and gloves, and cannot be identified by the camera footage. A squeeze-type bottle filled with “watery, white colored paint” was found near the walkway.

Later in the day Saturday, officers responded to Councilmember Clark Gilman’s home in West Olympia. Gilman told officers that his neighbor had notified him of similar damage from white paint to his house and two vehicles.

Officers located a bottle in the area identical to the type found in front of Bateman’s residence. The responding officer stated in a report, “Gilman is a
Olympia city government official and was likely targeted due to his position.” Officers also found damage to Gilman’s property to be in the realm of $1000.

Bateman has served on the City Council since 2015, and was just re-elected to that position last year. Her position will likely be vacant soon, however, since she appears to have won election to the State House of Representatives yesterday, defeating former Lacey Police Chief Dusty Pierpoint.

Gilman has served on the City Council since being appointed in 2016 and then re-elected in 2017. He is up for re-election next year.

If anyone has information on the two vandalism cases, they are encouraged to contact Olympia Police, reference case numbers 20-6385 (Bateman) and 20-6390 (Gilman).

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