Tagger Buket charged with felony vandalism
Daredevil tagger Buket, whose brazen daylight "bomb" of a sign over the Hollywood Freeway gained him Internet fame, was charged today with five counts of felony vandalism and probation violations from two previous court cases.
In December, a judge sentenced Buket, whose real name is Cyrus Yazdani, to 10 months in an L.A. County jail, 256 hours of graffiti removal and five years' formal probation after he pleaded guilty to nearly three dozen counts of felony vandalism. He was released from jail at that time, based on credit for time served, but faced the prospect of three years in state prison if he violated the terms of his sentence.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies arrested Yazdani last week after they found new Buket tags on a mural on the Hollywood Freeway, a South L.A. business and on the 7th Street and Cesar Chavez bridges in the Los Angeles River. Damages were estimated at $14,000.
Authorities also alleged that the 26-year-old San Jose State graduate was found in possession of scribers, which are used in tagging, and that paint was splattered on his clothing.
Yazdani, who is expected to plead not guilty, allegedly put the tags up between late December, when he was released from jail, and March 31 of this year, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the L.A. County district attorney.
Unlike many taggers who shun the limelight, Yazdani became something of an Internet sensation when he plastered his moniker 20 feet above the busy Hollywood Freeway, an act captured on video and posted with a rap soundtrack on YouTube and numerous tagging blogs.
Another daylight attack, which also was videotaped, appeared to show Buket applying his moniker to an MTA bus as passers-by and passengers watched in surprise.
-- Andrew Blankstein