Kelly's Corner, the unofficial memorial for Kelly Thomas at the Fullerton Transportation Center, was set on fire yesterday around 1:30. A witness to the crime flagged down a patrol officer in the area. Fullerton police later arrested Deborah Saltzen of Santa Ana for the crime.
Kelly's Corner, of course, has existed ever since Thomas died after getting bludgeoned by Fullerton officers on July 5, 2011. A new bouquet of artificial flowers, a U.S. flag and "Change 4 Justice" print out taped to a bus sign at Kelly's Corner all got reduced to ashes by the fire.
Behind the bus sign, the light pole that's blanketed with taped memorial messages, including a cover of the Weekly's story on Kelly's dad, Ron Thomas, escaped unscathed by the fire. It's unclear where the brick floor around it had been blackened by the fire or merely sullied by heavy foot traffic.
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Kelly's Corner has been vandalized before, with people tearing down taped tributes for the light pole and other petty acts. But this is the first time someone has committed such a serious act of vandalism against it.
By nightfall, activists returned to his corner and put a brand-new "Kelly Thomas Change 4 Justice" poster up on the charred backside of the bus stop sign.
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2