Green paint vandalism suspect Jiamei Tran released to halfway house

Tian, 58, is suspected in the string of vandalism incidents involving green paint and D.C. landmarks.

WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- Last week, on the day someone doused a pipe organ and an elaborate chapel with green paint at the National Cathedral, a detective spotted Jia Mei Tian standing in the chapel covered in paint. She also happened to have a soda can in her hand filled with green paint.

Prosecutors wanted her held, but the judge sent Tian to a halfway house instead.

"What are they doing at a halfway house with someone who is throwing paint... I don't get it," says Bowie resident Beverly Eaves.

Evidence has emerged linking Tian to the dousing of the Lincoln Memorial with green paint – her shoe allegedly matches a print found there. Another witness says Tian is the woman who was seen in the Luther Place Memorial Church just before someone splashed it with white paint laced with feces and urine.

"I prefer not to see her in jail but in an institution where they can look after her and help her," says Fairfax resident Jim Burch.

Throughout Friday’s hearing, Tian sat expressionless while her interpreter kept her informed. When ordering her release, the judge said the ankle bracelet would alert authorities if Tian flees the halfway house. But the decision leaves some areas residents troubled.

"She had the green paint on her," insists Eaves. "Who else did it? It hasn't been done since, right? I don't understand the logic at all."

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