Saturday, May 15, 2010
Building Owners Encouraged to go to 'VTC' Sentencing Monday
All local building owners who've been affected by graffiti and residents interested in taking a stand against it are strongly encouraged to go to the Branch 23 Circuit Court building, 5555 W. Grand, this Monday, May 17th at 1:30 PM for the sentencing of Nathan Deluna, a prominent graffiti tagger responsible for 'VTC' ("violence against the city") tags along with CEEP (convicted Oct. 2009), REEFR, XTC, DTC, and WHUT.
More on Deluna can be found in this southloganpalmersquare post about a previous attempt to sentence Deluna a few months ago and a delay initiated by his lawyer. I became aware of the Monday sentencing from an email from the 14th District police. Much of Deluna's tagging has occurred in the 14th District which encompasses Logan Square and most of Wicker Park/Bucktown. The police are urging business owners to be in attendance at the sentencing.
Most recently I spotted a new VTC tag on the office of U.S. Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, 2201 W. North, which coincidentally appeared on the day, or perhaps it was the evening before the day, when Guiterrez was in Washington D.C getting peacefully arrested for protesting Arizona's Immigration Reform bill.
The VTC tag on the Gutierrez office building was promptly removed a few days later. Unfortunately there are many other tags in the area which are a burden to building owners faced with the task and cost of removing them-- often times these are struggling small business owners.
Recently a store in business for many years had a few thousand dollars worth of graffiti damage on its window and then then was ticketed for a false alarm because his motion detector set off the security alarm as the taggers were defacing his property, though when the police came there was no evidence of forced entry. The false alarm ticket was repealed but only after a court appearance wherein he showed the receipt from the graffiti removal. While the business owner took advantage of the WPB sponsored graffiti rebate reimbursement to cover about half of the removal costs, he was still out about $1000+ of his own money.
Over the past 14 months during my outdoor wanderings I've taken way too many pictures of property owners removing graffiti, in fact that's how I initially met a few of the Pipeline readers though I wish it had been under better circumstances.