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Daredevil tagger 'Buket' gets nearly four years in prison


"Buket," the daredevil tagger who gained Internet notoriety for his brazen, daylight tagging of a sign over the 101 Freeway and vandalism of a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus, was sentenced today to three years and eight months in state prison.

Cyrus Yazdani, 26, was on probation after pleading guilty in December to 32 felony vandalism counts. In July, he pleaded no contest to one count of felony vandalism and accepted financial responsibility for five vandalism incidents. Four of the counts were dismissed today. Yazdani must pay $117,196 in restitution.

Los Angeles County sheriff's transit investigators arrested Yazdani in May after "Buket" tags appeared on the 7th Street Bridge, the Cesar Chavez Bridge and in the 4200 block of South Broadway.

Sheriff's officials said Yazdani was found in possession of scribers, which are used in tagging. He also had paint splatter on his clothing.

In December, after pleading guilty Yazdani was sentenced to 10 months in county jail, 256 hours of graffiti removal duty and five years' formal probation. He was released from jail based on credit for time served.

That case stemmed from a tagging spree between 2005 and 2007, during which, authorities said, the 26-year-old San Jose State graduate slapped his tags on buses, freeway walls and overpasses as well as the concrete lining of the Los Angeles River.

Yazdani became something of an Internet sensation when he plastered his "Buket" bomb 20 feet above the busy Hollywood Freeway -- vandalism that was captured on videotape and posted with a rap soundtrack on YouTube and numerous tagger-related blogs.

Another daylight attack, which was also videotaped, appeared to show "Buket" applying his moniker to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus as passersby and passengers watched in surprise.

A YouTube video that captured both tagging exploits has more than 450,000 views. But the notoriety also got the attention of sheriff's transit investigators, who arrested Yazdani in May.

Sheriff's officials said they had evidence that Yazdani had marked hundreds of freeway overpasses, concrete walls and transit buses across the state and southern Nevada.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies and officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers identified at least 20 "Buket" scrawlings along a stretch of the river spanning a couple of miles, causing an estimated $60,000 in damage.

—Andrew Blankstein

Photo: A Buket tag in the Los Angeles River captured in May 2008.

Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times


Walls of L.A. River are a prime canvas for taggers

Internet gives graffiti vandals a global audience

More photos >>

Comments () | Archives (70)

Good riddance

lol, he definitely kicked the BUCKET this time..je je je je

4 years for tagging? They should be giving out time like that for other offenses and make the taggers paint over there own work and fine them, but I don't think putting taggers in an over populated jail is going to accomplish much other then getting other more serious felons released early.


Spray paints his ass to the wall for target practice.

Why that's only $88.78 a day! Why don't we hang him up for forty-four months?

BRAVO! I love, love, love knowing idiots like this will be sitting in a cage.

The guy is on probation for tagging and does it again? On Youtube? $60k of taxpayer money? Yep, he deserves his years in prison. Hope the rest of the taggers see this and think twice.

Most definitely a LOSER, 26 y/o living with mommy, grad from San Jose State. Probably works (ed) at Mickey Ds. Typical lowlife thinks that it's art - just trash.

"Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies and officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers identified at least 20 "Buket" scrawlings along a stretch of the river spanning a couple of miles, causing an estimated $60,000 in damage."

I have seen the "banks" of the LA River. How can anyone claim that graffiti has done $60,000 damage ? In fact one can claim that the graffiti has improved the appearance of a river that is nothing more than miles of depressing concrete.

Trying to register

Personally I'd rather see him have to repay more money than have my tax dollars jail the idiot.
Regardless, the tagging issue is out of control, and they do need to crack down on these jerks.
26 yrs old, college degree, and he tags his sig for BSD notoriety.
What a joke.

And to all you people that think this guy is a loser, I think you're bigger losers than him. Graffiti is a form of art, and just because he's not getting paid a lot of money for his work, he is still expressing himself and doing what he loves. Is "BUKET" really that offensive to any of you? Would you rather look at a blank cement wall than see some cool text on it? Plus it's interesting because the meaning of "BUKET" is unclear and it's cool to let your mind wander and think about what it might mean. I bet all you haters are sitting at jobs you hate right now just to pay the bills while this guy was able to go out and do what he loves everyday. That's really living. I'd rather live at home with my parents and be able to pursue my passion than live on my own and have some stupid job that I hate.

really no excuse for this at all and punishment before wasn't successful....i'm sure as soon as he gets out he'll be back at the tagging... he should get life with no parole...

This guy really needed to grow up. 26 yrs old and still doing this? Prison will be good for him because we don't need him out here doing that garbage. I hope it sends a clear message to other wannabe taggers. Now he is sort of famous and who really cares?

Both his extremely severe sentence and grossly OTT fine are both a travesty of justice and an extreme failure on behalf of the 'grown ups' to understand what is really going on here and put things in perspective. I hope he appeals, and the judge who sentenced him gets a reprimand.

This anti-social loser should have been stripped naked and spray painted neon lady pink, bright lime green, sun yellow, and startling blue hue THEN given 44 months in prison that should have been 44 months in prison AND having to scrub the crappy art that has become such an eyesore to the majority from every place he has so defiantly sprayed it. What a sad excuse for an "artist" - imagine if he focused his talents on a real artisitc journey...maybe prison will reform him. We hope so.


This human slime-ball deserves a sentence five times as long. He got off lucky. If this be "art" why doesn't the jerk put it on canvas and sell it? The answer: Because it isn't art; it is crap.

His tags should have been "Darwin".

Yep. Way to go. I've seen manslaughter good for 4 years in prison and we're wasting more money by putting him in prison. Good job.

I still hear gunshots in Venice and we're busy putting a tagger away in prison. Way to go LAPD. Good job.

How's this for a suggestion? Fines and community service labor. Like, cleaning up the wall along the LA River. No? We'd rather pay people to do that. Good job.

You idiots.

Just give him a {Paint gun and let him shoot it out with the LAPD .

The boyz at Tehachapi are gonna have another name for Buket.

Couldn't there be a penalty of hard labor (poss breaking rocks in the hot hot sun) for this sort of crime? Ditto for computer hackers and identity theft criminals. No languishing in jail for them -- hard labor!

WOW three years and eight months that the taxpayers will have to pay to keep this Guy of the Streets. No wonder the State is Broke and the prisons are over populated , you would think that sentencing him to clean graffiti for the 3 and a half years would had saved the State and Taxpayers quite a bit Money.
Free room and board and medical care for the next three and a half years instead of making him work and pay taxes and paint over Graffitii on his days off. what do you think would have served justice and the people of California better?

It will definitely cost more to feed and care for this animal for the next years than his restitution of $117,196.00 (of which the State most likely will never see a penny of) so why don't we just execute him?
Seriously, repeat offenders like this sub-human are a disgrace to our society and don't deserve to breath the same air as the rest of us.
Shoot him in the head and post THAT video on YouTube for all wanna-be taggers to see... That should teach them a lesson!

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