Shown is a memorial in honor of David Waag and Connor Williams, two students who were killed in a car accident Aug. 20. The Greene County Sheriff’s Office cited the student who did the spray painting.

Memorial to Greenon students killed in crash leads to criminal charges

A recent graduate of Greenon High School seeking to honor two classmates who died in a car accident last week was ticketed by a Greene County deputy when he allegedly spray painted near the crash site.

Ty Rickmon of Enon said he tried to do a nice thing by spray painting a memorial where Greenon senior David Waag and Global Impact STEM Academy sophomore Connor Williams were killed. But when a Greene County deputy arrived he was cited with criminal damaging.

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He fears the citation might cost him up to $1,000.

“After the visitation, me and a bunch of my friends decided that we were going to go up there and we are going to go and pay our respects,” he said. “It was really a spontaneous thing. I did it and we pretty much painted it, just figured that is what he would want and he would love it.”

Rickmon had known the two deceased teens a long time and believed what he was doing was legal, he said.

“I figured it would be OK to do,” Rickmon said.

He spray painted in the street of Wilkerson Road between Fairborn and Yellow Springs. The memorial says “forever” and has other notes to the late students.

“We just finished it. We were getting in our car to leave and then you see the lights in the background,” Rickmon said. “We just waited.”

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Rickmon said he and his friends were told to exit the vehicle.

“We were lined up on the side of the road and the cop was like, ‘Who did it?’” Rickmon said. “For a minute I hesitated but I started to raise my hand.”

Greene County Deputy Scott Phillips wrote in a report that the kids at the scene didn’t give officers any problems.

“(Rickmon) took full responsibility for the spray painting,” Phillips wrote in a report. “I advised him that I would be issuing him a citation for criminal damaging. He gave me no issues and was apologetic.”

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Phillips told Rickmon that the site had been chip sealed and wouldn’t be paved again soon, according to the report. The Greene County Sheriff’s Office declined further comment on the incident because it’s an open investigation.

Rickmon said he understands now that he broke the law and will likely have to pay for it. His attorney has advised him he is looking at an $800 to $1,000 fine. He’s been ordered into Fairborn Municipal Court at 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1.

“It was pretty frustrating but I have a lot of support behind it, so it sort of balances out,” he said.

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He said he now realizes that many people die in car accidents and it wouldn’t be good if everyone spray painted on the road when it happens. However he said he still believes what he did was important.

“I’ll take it,” he said of the ticket. “I got through what I wanted to do, to leave Connor and David’s name on it to let them know we are all here.”

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