L.A. Sheriff's Department busts reputed tagger who was 'guest artist' at graffiti art store
A reputed tagger who was paid $1,000 to be a featured "guest artist" at a self-described graffiti art store was arrested at the downtown store this weekend after authorities found him carrying spray tips, which are used in tagging, officials said today.
Jason Williams, 32, who was on probation and goes by the name REVOK, was appearing Sunday as the guest of honor at the 33rd Graffiti Art Store, said Sgt. Augie Pando of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The store was exhibiting Montana spray paint, a brand used by taggers, Pando said.During a later search of Williams' home, deputies found several hundred paint cans, a police badge and a fire extinguisher, Pando said. They also found a stolen detour sign and digital photos of his graffiti work on his phone.
"He's being treated as a celebrity artist when in fact he's breaking the law," said Steve Whitmore, a sheriff's spokesman.
Williams was arrested on suspicion of illegally possessing vandalism tools, a counterfeit Los Angeles Police Department badge, and receiving stolen property, the sheriff's department said.
Sheriff's officials said Williams told them that he earns a living selling T-shirts and prints and said he was paid $1,000 to attend the art exhibit.
He is being held on $20,000 bail.
-- Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton
Photo: Booking mug shot of Jason Williams. Photo credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department