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Hiker Witnesses Graffiti Vandals In Action, Starts Filming

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) - Jefferson County deputies are searching for graffiti vandals who were caught in the act on Lookout Mountain over the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, a man who wishes to remain anonymous and his fiancee were hiking when they heard the sound of spray paint cans rattling. They turned and saw orange graffiti on the rocks.

Graffiti on Lookout Mountain
(credit: CBS)

"They spray painted someone's name. Someone's name is gay -- which obviously is homophobic," "Joe" told CBS4's Tom Mustin on Monday.

Joe says he moved to Colorado two years ago from Florida to enjoy the outdoors. When he saw the graffiti, something snapped.

"This is just not acceptable, especially for the beauty and nature we have here in Colorado," he said.

Joe yelled at the two young men and started filming with his cellphone, as they tried to hide their faces.

Lookout Mountain Graffiti by Bob Sanders on YouTube

"You guys know you're defacing property, right?" Joe says on the video. "Just going to get a frontal of your face really quick."

"I didn't want to put myself in an unreasonable position while they were out there. At the same time, I wanted to get enough so they could be tracked down and hopefully prosecuted later," Joe told CBS4.

Joe followed the taggers to the parking lot where he videoed the temporary license plate of their BMW. They threatened him before driving away.

Graffiti on Lookout Mountain
(credit: CBS)

"They said I was going to go to hell. As I was running up to the car taking a snapshot of the license plate they said 'If you put this online, we'll find you."

Joe also received threats on YouTube after posting the video.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is searching for two males in their teens or early 20s.

Joe says he wants the young men to be punished.

"I don't want this to ruin their lives forever but at the same time, I want there to be some accountability," he said.

The suspects would likely face a charge of defacing property, which is a Class 2 misdemeanor. The crime carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

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