Published: August 21, 2012
Updated: August 21, 2012 - 3:00 PM
The bricks, pipes and anarchist-style graffiti found days before the Republican National Convention on a downtown rooftop were a concern but not alarming to Police Chief Jane Castor.
Although police called the findings "suspicious," Castor said it was the type of discovery expected with the highly charged GOP gathering coming to town.
"Finding those items for us was not a surprise," Castor said. "This is historically how these things proceed before a large political event such as the RNC."
The 6,000-square-foot building, on the northwest corner of Florida Avenue and Tyler Street, isn't far from the newly opened Floridan Palace Hotel.
A projectile easily could be thrown from the rooftop toward the hotel. A hotel spokeswoman would not confirm who would be staying there during the RNC, although national media members were rumored to be among the guests.
The Forum, about a mile away, will host the RNC from Monday through Thursday. A security zone – including fencing and road closures – will be set up throughout the downtown area.
The graffiti included the numeral "99" and an image of a person wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, similar to those warn by Occupy protesters last year.
Fawkes was an Englishman who tried to bomb Parliament in the early 1600s. The masks became symbols for the Occupy protesters after the film "V for Vendetta," in which an anarchist models himself as a modern Fawkes and rebels against a fascist government.
The Occupy movement spread throughout the country last year, opposing income inequality between the top 1 percent of earners and other citizens, or the "99 percent."
Federal investigators were at the scene Tuesday.
The bricks, pipes and graffiti were discovered last week by a chiropractor who runs a clinic in the building. He reported it to authorities.
"We are just pleased that the communication process worked, and it worked well," Castor said.
The roof was easily accessed from an adjacent building, said chiropractor Joseph Papilla.
He said a fence would be put up to keep people from getting on his roof.
The bricks and pipes were confiscated by investigators.
"It was quite disturbing," Papilla said. "I'm not trying to make big deal of it and the police responded Friday night and took the bricks as evidence."