L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

L.A. Sheriff's Department busts reputed tagger who was 'guest artist' at graffiti art store

Jason-williams225 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

 
Comments () | Archives (104)

great job LAPD...now let's round up the rest of these criminals and put an end to the blight they create all over LA. I personally am fed up with seeing this type of criminal given money for their criminal activity. let's round em all up and throw away the key...after they clean up their mess!!!

So, stores that sell graffiti supplies are LEGAL???!!! Why doesn't the city council do something about that?

I like Jackson Pollick, but I don't want one his paintings on the side of my house.

Excellent use of LASD time and manpower, jeez.

What is worse? Graffiti blight or Billboard blight?

"great job LAPD..."
Yeah right. Let's lock up everybody that has a fire extinguisher in their house. Great job.

Yeah, Great JOB LAPD for busting another artist..... Do you know how many laws are being broken by even the most upstanding citizens everyday because of a flawed system and ancient set of laws. Welcome to the United States of Corporate America built on years and years of oppression. Spray paint is not an illegal substance or weapon... like some of other legal ones out there, such as tobacco and alcohol or ... GUNS! There is a difference between vandalizing property and being paid to create a mural on the side of a store. Street art and the murals that come out of it are a positive outlet for not only people interested and appreciative of the medium but also an outlet for kids that grow up in the streets and turn to to art rather than gangs. Talk to your city about the real problem which has to do with city segregation and the lack of outlets of inner city youth. Stop complaining about the symptoms!

What goes around, comes around....

This guy should not be on the streets. Imagine the clean up cost and who is going to pay for it.

Obtuse: Do you mean stores cannot sell kitchen knives because someone is going to use it to kill somebody?

why doesn't the LAPD help re-direct his artistic abilities to a more legal expression and concetrate on arresting the real criminals.

Great job LAPD......now go bust a meth house you pussies...

how about the police spend their energy and our money arresting the REAL criminals - which would be hard-core gang members, not "street" artists.

Go after the gangs that sell heroin and kill people, unless creating illegal art and "blight" is more important to folks??

OBTUSE, ummmm!? Do you even know what graffiti supplies are??
It's a spray can of paint!! NOW tell me, how would the city council do anything about that?! and really it isn't blight they create, its actually art that is underappreciated. Its guerrilla street art, the same that has allowed Paris to become world famous for their street art. Why can't people here understand that this isn't criminal, its ppostmodernistic art!!

SPS - stunted personality disorder - this guy is doing the behaviors of a 12 year old - whatever happened to being embarrassed?

@Obtuse - "Graffiti" supplies are just art supplies. It's like trying to close Home Depot for selling spray paint. Or trying to close them for selling crowbars because some people use crowbars to break into homes. It's kind of like a head shop. It is illegal to smoke marijuana and nobody is buying a bong to smoke tobacco with. Yet until someone actually smokes marijuana through the bong, it isn't illegal to have a bong. It's the same thing with "graffiti supplies".

Dude.

Let the judge give him a choice: years in prison or ship out to Afghanistan as a soldier.

Wow, nice work, LA Sheriffs. You took an extremely dangerous criminal off the streets. I'm sure there weren't any other crimes like murders or robberies that you should have been paying more attention to.

32 years old? And, still painting on walls! See, if your doing drugs; please wear a condom, we don't need anymore stir fried losers in the world.

If you cant figure out why social security will not take care of all the 60's folk that partook of the herbal leaves, the acid rain, and the booze in the bottle. Well, here is your answer, and millions of others like him. Just look at the picture, and did I mention he is 32 years old?

32 is not the new 22, get a job you maggot, set an example for those younger than yourself, and make your life count for more than a fad.

It's not art. It's vandalism.

Arresting a non - violent offender for merely carrying spray tips is a waste of resources. Arresting him in front of guests who go see his work is just not going to work. How in the hell is this arrest going to solve the graffitti problem in Los Angeles? It's not. We must get to the root of the problem. Instead of working against legitimate artist we might op the idea of maybe working w/ them. There is a more serious violent element in Los Angeles. Why not focus our precious resources on that, just a question

Yeah, Great JOB LAPD for busting another artist..... Do you know how many laws are being broken by even the most upstanding citizens everyday because of a flawed system and ancient set of laws. Welcome to the United States of Corporate America built on years and years of oppression. Spray paint is not an illegal substance or weapon... like some of other legal ones out there, such as tobacco and alcohol or ... GUNS! There is a difference between vandalizing property and being paid to create a mural on the side of a store. Street art and the murals that come out of it are a positive outlet for not only people interested and appreciative of the medium but also an outlet for kids that grow up in the streets and turn to to art rather than gangs. Talk to your city about the real problem which has to do with city segregation and the lack of outlets of inner city youth. Stop complaining about the symptoms!

A store devoted to a criminal activity. That's just great.

All the cops are doing is giving this artist more fame, ultimately that's what these artists want. It would be much more productive to create legal spaces for these artists to paint rather than try to hunt them down like they should be doing with violent criminals. You cant continue to smack these guys with stiffer sentences and not provide a legal outlet for their expression. If they continue to tag walls, then the law has to do what it has to do, but it cant be so one sided.
These guys are not gun carrying gangbangers or selling drugs to our communities. Paint on a wall might be ugly in some peoples views, but it is not a crime that deserves felony status.

And btw...Home Depot sells the cheapest and most robust line of graffiti supplies. Fire extinguishers, paint, glass etchers, etc. So if you close any stores down for selling supplies, you must begin with them.

Really?! Taxpayer dollars are funding the pursuit of graffiti artists? I think there are higher-priority crimes that should take precedence.

Also, Revok's stuff is pretty good. If the police are going to waste time doing this, they should focus on people who put up ugly gang signs, not cool graphic art.

Seriously LAPD?! There's a big difference between taggers who mark out gang territory with paint and legitimate artists. Pretty pathetic.

 
1 2 3 4 5 | »

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.

Categories




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: