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Police: Fairfield woman confessed to vandalizing school, business with politically charged graffiti

Police say Emily Winters, 65, defaced the TJ Maxx building and the sidewalks in front of McKinley Elementary School in Fairfield.

News 12 Staff

Jan 28, 2021, 11:14 PM

Updated 1,239 days ago

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Fairfield police arrested a woman who they say admitted to vandalizing a school and business with offensive graffiti.
Police say Emily Winters, 65, defaced the TJ Maxx building and the sidewalks in front of McKinley Elementary School in Fairfield. She's been charged with criminal mischief.
Winters is accused of spraying graffiti Jan. 12, referencing China, socialism, and then-President-elect Joe Biden.
"This was politically charged; it was at a school, and it caught a lot of public attention," said Lt. Antonio Granata.
School officials told police they were especially concerned because McKinley is the most diverse school in Fairfield, and the incident occurred ahead of the inauguration.
"Schools are considered a sacred place on many levels and I think it really hit home to have these types of messages drawn anywhere near school grounds," Detective Jason Takacs said.
Police say Winters confessed, making it clear her political beliefs did not align with the outcome of the recent election.
"What I'd like to do is really thank the media, the social media groups that gave this some attention because by doing so, what it ended up doing is allowing a lot of people to call in with some tips that essentially led to the arrest of this woman," Granata said.
But less than a week later, more than 100 people went to McKinley with a positive surprise.
"They decided to decorate the McKinley grounds with messages of positivity, unity, things of that nature," said Takacs.
The group included high school and middle school students, teachers and parents. They used chalk to write words of love and kindness.
"It turned a negative into a positive and also showed, you know, what the town of Fairfield is all about."
Winters was released on a promise to appear. She'll be in court Feb. 12.


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