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Red dye dumped in 3 UCLA fountains; USC pranksters suspected

November 30, 2010 | 10:22 am

With the big crosstown football game between UCLA and USC to be played Saturday at the Rose Bowl, the season of campus pranks and vandalism apparently has begun.

UCLA maintenance workers are cleaning up red dye that was dumped into three campus fountains sometime early Monday in what officials suspect was an effort to imprint USC colors on the Bruin campus.  “The clue was the red dye,” said UCLA police spokeswoman Nancy Greenstein.  “Things like this are not unusual this time of year.”

Greenstein said no one has been arrested in the vandalism at the Inverted Fountain, a Sculpture Garden fountain and the Shapiro Fountain near Royce Hall, but campus police are following leads. The dye is not expected to permanently stain the fountains.

Across town, a USC campus spokesman said he had not heard of any prank in retaliation or in connection with the annual game.

Last year, vandals tore open a canvas tarpaulin over UCLA's "Bruin" statue and splashed the bronze artwork with red and yellow paint. This year, a new wooden covering shields the bear completely and students are guarding it.

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-- Larry Gordon

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