North District Graffiti Arrests
March 12, 2009
Eight Charged In Three Investigations
A crackdown on graffiti in the Madison Police Department's (MPD) North District has netted eight arrests: seven juveniles, and one adult are charged in three separate cases.
Three of the suspects were charged with defacing buildings at the East Madison Little League facility; located at Oscar Mayer Park, 1010 North Street. That crime was reported to the Madison Police Department (MPD) on February 8, 2009. At that time, an East Madison Little League representative indicated clean up costs would be in the thousands of dollars. Because of the high dollar amount, two suspects are charged with felony Graffiti. One is a 16-year old male. The other is Jason M. Bringe, age 24, Madison. In addition, a 15-year old male was arrested on two counts of misdemeanor Graffiti.
In the second case, two 16-year old Madison males were each charged with one count of misdemeanor Graffiti. They are accused of going into an East Towne Mall family bathroom on January 8, 2009, and using red and black markers on walls, mirrors, and a toilet.
The third investigation involves three young men: a 16-yer old, and two 14-years olds. All are charged with misdemeanor Graffiti for spray-painting buildings and cars last November in the 400 block of East Bluff Street.
Graffiti is a "quality of life" crime the MPD will continue to focus on. It is hoped these arrests will serve as a deterrent to others.
The crime falls under Wisconsin Statute 943.01:
Graffiti is defined by Wisconsin criminal statutes as intentionally marking, drawing, or writing with paint, ink or etching into the physical property of another person without their consent. Similar to criminal damage, graffiti is generally a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 9 months in jail and fines reaching $10,000.
Also similar to criminal damage, there are certain situations which elevate the charge to a Class I felony. Those include:
Damage to property valued over $2,500
Damage to a highway or roadway that may cause injury or further physical damage
Damage is done to a public utility in a manner that may cause disruption of services
Felony graffiti is punishable by up to 3 1/2 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- Capt. Cam McLay, 243-5258
- Joel DeSpain, 266-4897