‘Chalk mom’ found guilty; gets $200 fine

Posted at 11:09 AM, Feb 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-22 11:12:58-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The Richmond mom charged after her daughter used chalk to draw on James River rocks was found guilty of vandalism.

Susan Mortensen was sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation and fined $200, according to online court records Friday.

Richmond police ticketed Mortensen in March 2012 after her 4-year old daughter drew on a rock on Belle Isle with a piece of chalk.

After she was cited, some of her friends and people who heard about the case brought buckets of chalk with them and left messages on the sidewalk outside police headquarters on Grace Street.  Most said they couldn’t believe police would give Mortensen a ticket for letting her daughter draw on one of the rocks on Belle Isle, which sits in the middle of the James River through Richmond.

Police said they have had problems with people vandalizing the rocks with paint and have had to crack down on people defacing property, but Mortensen said the officer was a little overzealous.  She also said the incident caused a lot of stress for her daughter.

Court records showed Mortensen was convicted two years ago for destruction of property for painting on the rocks on Belle Isle.  But she’s adamant that conviction shouldn’t have entitled the officer to write her up for her daughter using chalk.