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Thursday, January 31, 2008

He should pay, in full

This is really simple. Vandalism is a crime, and the restitution should be complete, no matter how expensive it turns out to be. "Artist," my eye.

Comments (21)

For the water tank, yes, but for painted faces on plywood? Give me a break! I'd feel a lot better if Portland cops did something about the wanna-be gang bangers who constantly tag my neighborhood rather than going after some guy who puts up his own (easily removable) signs. What a joke. And 150,000 bail? Unreal.

"Easily removable"? By whom? Do they work for free? Are you volunteering to do the removal work the next time this guy is off his medications and he nails them up all over town? If they're easily removable, the restitution won't be too steep.

As for vandalizing parts of the city's water system, he's lucky he didn't get shot.

That Bail sounds high until one remembers he only has to pay 10%.

I can usually see your point on a bunch of stuff, Jack, but this one, I think you're being a little obtuse.

These hang on the same utility poles as every poster and flyer for bands and lost cats. It would take half a minute longer to remove these than to remove those flyers. I know because I wanted to steal one, but thought better of it because I know so many people who enjoyed them.

This is overzealous police trying to make an example of someone because they think they've got their man--which doesn't happen often in "graffiti" cases.

I wonder if I went into his gallery and "improved" the walls and art hung up in there like he "improved" my neighborhood, if he'd have the same e-tard, "yeah, wow, man, cool art, it's all good," BS response he wants from us. [expletives deleted]

Oh, I can't let that snipe at the PD go by. I could not be more pleased at this dirtbag's arrest, and I hope he gets the max penalties, plus a big ration of public scorn. The more enforcement, the better, and especially on these privileged egomaniacs who think they are too cool to respect my neighborhood. They never soil their own, you'll notice.

What's the line between this visual garbage and "Lose Weight Now -- Ask Me How"? It's all cr*p, all illegal.

Put me in the "what's the big deal?" camp. "Restitution should be complete"? Fine, make him go around and take the boards down.

Is it illegal? Yes. Should it be? Sure. Egregious? Come on - the only thing that's egregious in this case is that he's being held on $150K bail. For this? Give me a break.

Hoping to be Portland's own Banksy?


I wonder what he'd think about somebody walking into his gallery and vandalizing his 'art'. I guess it's not too cool when it happens to you.

The cleanup of the water facility alone was $12,000. The time spent to remove all his other garbage might have been worth another $2,000. Let him pay $14,000 plus the costs of prosecuting him. Then he can go find a life.

I think the real reason they went after him was because he put his signs on public property. The cops could care less about all the small businesses in town who have to clean up graffiti tags every week, but once someone dares put up a painted 2x4 on a signpost, LOOK OUT!

I have to agree with some of the comments that going after the guy for the plywood signs is a bit excessive. When I worked for the state highway division, one of the tasks was to drive down HWY 26 with a shovel and remove all the signs. Garage sale signs, lost cat signs, concert posters etc. If we're going after this guy for his sign, go after everyone else - a bit one would be the "Street Teams" for Thrasher Presents or Monqui or Doug Fir.

Now, if he did actually tag the water tower (remember people, innocent until proven guilty,) then throw the book at him. Make him pay for it.

I'd also love to see how they came up with a $12,000 repair bill for tagging a water tower. What kind of paint are they using these days?

I guess his mommy ran out of space on her refridgerator.

People who tag have mental health problems that need to be addressed.

People who tag have mental health problems that need to be addressed.


Maybe they've just made some "less than optimum" choices.


Lock 'em up!

Are you kidding me? He could get caught stealing your car and not spend any time in jail in Portland. There's no jail space. No, he just needs to feel this in the wallet. And have a professional get into his head; otherwise, he would seem a likely candidate for doing this again.


If you or your readers would like to see a picture of the damage to the tank, they can go here:


Dave J. asked about the $12,000 cost and thought it was high. So did I, so I asked and here is what I found out.

When we filed the police report over the phone we cited the value at $12,000 for the following reasons:

1. Paint cost estimated at $4000. If customer complaints force the tank to be repainted during the ‘wet’ season; we are then forced to use a moisture cured urethane, which is more expensive than the recylced paint we buy from Metro and use on our concrete tanks.

2. The cost to blast the graffiti off. Our industrial painters have indicated that the black paint is too dark to be overcoated, therefore, the tank that we just finished repainting 06/12/07 has to be blasted for much of the vertical exterior.

3. The cost to recoat the tank – 3 coats of paint are required.

We also take into consideration that the process is non-linear due to other demands of the industrial painters, and mobilization/demobilization due to multiple coats of paint. In calendar time, it could take over a month to have the tank graffiti removed, start to finish.

Given your many past posts on this subject, and your own efforts in removing graffiti, you know that this is very frustrating.

Our tanks are big targets often tucked away from view. Our painters and employees take pride in doing good work and it drives them crazy to see that work trashed, often just days after they are done.

Just this week, an alert citizen caught a tagger vanadlizing our Vermont tanks up in the SW hills. We have the name, license number of the truck and a witness who actually confronted him and told him to stop. The police are following up and we will be prosecuting him, just as we prosecute this vandal and the guy we caught last summer soaping the Ira Keller fountain.

We have better things to do with ratepayer dollars than to clean up after clowns like this.

David Shaff, Director
Portland Water Bureau

The water tank damage is pretty significant. Don't know if I buy the "black paint cannot be covered with three coats of green so we have to sandblast it first" argument, but whatever. Make him pay for it.

The signs on the poles are not earth shattering crimes. Just pull them down.

Lastly, whoever this guy is, he is nothing close to Banksy in terms of talent and originality. Banksy is also smart enough to paint sophisticated stencils without getting caught. And his work often leaves a large percentage of the public arguing that it is art and improves property values. (Still, there are a lot of people who would like Banksy's head on a platter.)

A quick search on the internets will turn up all sorts of impressive and artistic graffiti. Like billboards, the world would be a better place if it all just disappeared, but in rare cases the artistic qualities weigh against the crime. In some extremely rare cases — such as the "art fills the void" banana in SE Portland — what begins as an act of vandalism becomes an icon that the building owner and neighbors work to protect.
No doubt this guy's paintings are vandalism and property crime, but they're also something much worse: they are bad art. And that compounds the seriousness of the offense, like murder in the commission of a robbery.

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