Tagging becomes deadly

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photo of graffiti clean up crew in action from UNTAG

T.jpgwo recent incidents highlighted on the Homicide Report indicate that some are willing to kill in the pursuit of tagging.

The most recent was just after midnight yesterday, when two LA County Sheriff’s deputies approached a man who was tagging a wall in the City Terrace area and ordered him to stop.

He turned, dropped his spraypaint can and pulled out a gun in one motion, they said. He fired, blasting a hole in the back window of the patrol car, and the deputies shot back.

A single bullet struck the tagger, who died from the wound at a local hospital

Last Friday, Maria Hicks, a 57-year old grandmother, spotted a tagger spraypainting a wall in Pico Rivera. She honked at the man, then followed him as he walked away. Soon thereafter, a car appeared behind her and someone inside fired a gun into her back window – one bullet hit her in the head. She died Monday night.

Today police arrested three individuals associated with the case, a man and woman from the area, both 19, as well as an unidentified 16 year old boy. All were picked up on parole violations. Two more men were being sought. (Los Angeles Times)

As most readers are aware, the best way to combat tagging is to clean it up the moment it appears, thus deterring others from believing the area is safe for additional tagging – which, in turn, is also a signal to more serious criminals that the area is ill patrolled.

To combat this, city officials recommend that if you spot tagging to call 311 and report it – the city promises to take care of it ASAP (although they will need to receive permission from the property owner).

If you’d like to become more involved, you can could sign up to become a block captain with UNTAG, a neighborhood watch-like program created by City Council President Eric Garcetti’s office three years ago, and now boasts signifigant progress in the neighborhoods that have utilized the program.

4 Replies to “Tagging becomes deadly”

  1. Tagging is so ugly and makes my neighborhood look worse. I reported some fresh gang graffiti yesterday using the form online. It was gone from the walls when I got home. Still on the wall of the building I live in though. So gross.

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