Cuffed And Charged For Vandalism
Middle Village residents and elected officials were outraged by the actions of an alleged graffiti vandal who made his mark on homes, fences, vehicles and even trees over a five-block area of the neighborhood late last Tuesday night, Jan. 31, and into the following morning.
Police said an 18-year-old Middle Village resident was busted by P.O. Robert Swiston of the 104th Precinct early on Wednesday, Feb. 1, for allegedly defacing over a dozen locations with tags written in orange/yellow spray paint.
According to law enforcement sources, the suspect is accused of scrawling illegible tags onto trees and white or lightly-colored fences, residential siding, garage doors and vans along residential streets off Juniper Valley Road between 72nd and 74th streets.
“It was just disgusting,” said a law enforcement source familiar with the case.
Police were able to apprehend the vandal after an eyewitness spotted the suspect allegedly making graffiti on 72nd Street and ordered him to stop. Following a brief pursuit, law enforcement sources said, the eyewitness held the teenager at the location until police arrived.
The suspect was charged with 13 counts of making graffiti; additional charges are pending the results of an ongoing investigation, law enforcement sources said.
The acts of vandalism were condemned by City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and State Sen. Joseph Addabbo in a joint press release issued on Monday, Feb. 6.
“We must continue to send a strong message to vandals: Your graffiti will not be tolerated and you will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Crowley said. “I commend the 104th Precinct for making graffiti arrests a priority.”
“These bold acts of vandalism involving both public and private prop- erty were cowardly assaults on our quality of life,” Addabbo added.
Both offices announced that they will donate supplies for a graffiti cleanup in Middle Village, tentatively scheduled to take place tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 10.
Those interested in volunteering or donating supplies or anyone who wishes to request a location for cleaning may call Crowley’s office at 1- 718-366-3900 or Addabbo’s Middle Village office at 1-718-497-1630.