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Three Caught Tagging at Veterans Park PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Garcia   
Thursday, 21 February 2013 08:42


Parks have become easy targets for taggers—usually poor police presence, plenty of space and opportunity.

Maybe that's what three teenagers thought, when they climbed a hill to reach the water tower atop Veterans Memorial Park in Sylmar, where they were caught red handed by Los Angeles County Sheriff's (LASD) Deputies as they spray painted the tower. The arrests took place around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday at the park, located at the 13000 Sayre Street, near Los Angeles Mission College.

"The deputies came upon three juveniles who were spray painting (criminal graffiti vandalism "tagging") the water tower. Two of the juveniles were detained immediately but a third suspect was able to successfully elude the deputies by running across a narrow trail (approximately three feet wide) with 100 foot drops on either side of it", said Johnie Jones, deputy of the LASD Parks Bureau.


He didn't get very far. "While the deputies conducted their investigation, they were contacted by Los Angeles Police Department officers who patrol the community of Sylmar in the City of Los Angeles, in which Veteran's Park is located," informed the LASD. "The LAPD officers told them that they had a young man who ran into a residence stating he was being chased by the 'Cops' and needed a ride. Unfortunately for him, the gathering was attended by many of the Los Angeles Police Department's finest who were off-duty, and they detained him".

Each of the teenagers had spray painted their graffiti tagger name on the water tower in letters nearly four feet tall, causing an estimated $2,500 in damage.


They all hand backpacks containing multiple cans of spray paint and spray tips instructing them on how a graffiti "artist" varies the width and type of graphic that he is painting, the Sheriff's Department reported. In three photos provided by the Bureau, one can see a young man in kaki pants and white t-shirt with handcuffs on his wrists. In another photo, another youngster is sitting on the dirt in front of the water tower, hands cuffed behind him and a defeated look on his face.

The deputies who made the arrest are part of the Mounted Enforcement Detail and were patrolling the park on horseback which allows them to access areas that are unreachable by vehicles.

And that's the case in this instance, since the climb up to the water tower is treacherous and requires a certain stamina. But that's no deterrant to taggers who seem to make the trip quite often. The tower has a lot of graffiti on its lower part. Graffiti is also observed in the path that leads to the tower: a wall nearby, on the curb, and on trees.

"They come and paint graffiti everyday," said a Veterans Park employee who did not want to be identified. "They come over and and paint this wall," he said pointed to a wall near the trail where one could see fresh graffiti next to graffiti painted over.

"I guess they like it because it's kind of hidden and there's not a lot of cops," the employee added. Two of the teenagers arrested Sunday are 14-years-old, the third is 16 and they're all San Fernando Valley residents. They were taken to Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station where they were booked. They were then issued citations and released to their parents, who are on the hook for the damages caused by their minor sons.

The Parks Bureau of the LASD polices 177 county parks, golf courses and special event venues throughout Los Angeles County. Currently, the LASD has three equestrian programs with nearly 180 personnel: Mounted Enforcement Detail, Mounted Search and Rescue Unit and Reserve Mounted Posse.

The Mounted Enforcement Detail (MED) consists of full time Deputy Sheriffs, and some Sheriff's Reserves. Personnel purchase their own horses, which they use for the detail. The mission of the Mounted Enforcement Detail is to provide the Department with a welltrained horse of being utilized in a variety of situations including Crime suppression/Directed Patrol, Crowd Management and Ceremonial events.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 08:50

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