No good deed goes unpunished? Veteran charged for painting picnic table at apartment complex

- A disabled Marine veteran living in Prince William County is facing jail time and a hefty fine all for painting a picnic table in his apartment complex.

“I had a five-gallon bucket of extra paint and I decided that it would be a nice thing to do something that I shouldn't have done -- volunteer to go right in the back of my apartment and paint a deteriorating bench,” said Mickey Triplett.

He was in good spirits Friday night despite facing a $2,500 fine and a year in jail. He was charged with destruction of property for painting the picnic table at the Potomac Ridge Apartments in Woodbridge.

“I thought since my granddaughter was coming down for the 4th of July weekend, it would be nice to paint this bench,” he said. “So about daybreak when I was taking some stuff to the dumpster, I ran into the maintenance man who saw paint on my arm and he began to scream and yell about what he was going to have to do to clean this up.”

A maintenance worker at the apartment complex said he was familiar with the incident, but had no comment for us.

Triplett said plenty of people have plenty to say about the incident.

“I've been contacted by several high agencies, delegates and Congress representatives,” said Triplett.

He added, “I have a lot of stern backing with me because I’m a believer and not a downer and I just knew in my heart that I meant well and not bad. This is not vandalism. This was trying to upkeep something.”

The only sign of Triplett’s handiwork are wet paint signs and a new paint job by the building’s management.

“I was only trying to help, but I believe the message here and I hope the message to management and any type of affiliation or authority is that I think you should at least attempt to communicate before you react and cause such a flare up because I don't like to see people in trouble nor is that my mission,” said Triplett.

Tthere was no response from Potomac Ridge Apartments’ management though FOX 5 News contacted them several times.

The public defender in Triplett’s case, Jason Pelt, said he has been informed that the prosecutor's plans to drop the charges at Monday’s court hearing.

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