72 graffiti tags = $108,000

Romero being ecorted by Sheriff’s Deputy after arrest. Photo by Spencer Weiner / L.A. Times

Suspected tagger Gustavo Romero, aka “Guser,” was arrested by L.A. County Sherrif’s during a raid on his home last Wednesday, charged with  “72 acts of vandalism, resulting in $108,000” in property damage.

Romero is blamed for the “Guser” tag etched into the windows of MTA buses, spray-painted on a local storefront and printed on stickers on poles and utility boxes in South Los Angeles. [Daily News]

The “Guser” tag was also found on the curb outside his home near 77th and Main and, suspiciously, scrawled across his mattress, which may be evidence that taggers do shit where they sleep.

Between 2006 and 2002, the number of tagging incidents reported in “sheriff’s territory” has more than doubled, from 2,083 to 4,274, possibly due to the ability to publicize taggers work on MySpace and YouTube, according to the Los Angeles Times.

11 thoughts on “72 graffiti tags = $108,000”

  1. To be sure, taggers are a nuisance. I have a residence in Boyle Heights, and I have logged a number of years here as well as Pico-Union, Brooklyn (yeah, as in New York City; NOT Brooklyn Avenue, which is now Cesar Chavez neé Sunset Blvd.), and I understand what tagging means.

    BUT I have not issues but a fucken problem with the LAPD (I have gone head to head at 3 a.m. with the assholes of C.R.A.S.H. in the 1990s, round Witmer) as well as with the L.A. Sheriff not to mention the MTA. The combined effort and all the bullshit about eight years for taggers when schmucks such as Tony V, Roger Snoble (the CEO of the MTA, for folk who cannot Google), Pam O’ Connor, Wendy Greuel, et al when the trains need to be maintained and the damned buses need to not be breaking down let alone greatly embellished–and our tax dollars are going for stake-outs to catch these poor cretins too stupid to not spray-paint their own mattresses?!
    Fuck The LAPD, the sheriff and anyone responsible. No wonder there was that vote for a dead sheriff back in 1998, and the one who made it was too stupid to not die by slipping in a bathtub a decade ago.

  2. I hate to even be thought of as excusing this moron but:

    When poor brown kids do this they get arrested and processed thru the criminal system

    when rich white kids do this they get a spot on the LA Weekly’s lurker section and an art degree and $25k grant.

    Was the $100k he caused in damage really worth the expense of raiding his house like some freaken dope dealer or gangmember?

    In other cities they have programs to keep kids like him int art classes

  3. By the way,it is freaken ridiculous to sentence someone to 8 years of prison time for graffiti, no matter how prolific they are. Another instance of legal racism and systematic stupidity. Good job cops, now you made some kid who likes to tag a hardened felon.

  4. Art: Good point about how this guy was targeted but the white kids get main stream exposure and grants.

    However, he’s not a kid. He’s 23 years old.

    And I doubt he or anyone else will do close to 8 years – probably not even 1 year.

    But I don’t have too much of a problem with cops coming down swiftly on the scum bags who scratch their names into bus benches, windows, or anywhere else.

  5. David, I would have no problem with such scum–providing the MTA were not far worse. Folk need to get the hell out of this kick regarding wee bits of vandalism and make the damned buses run on time and frequently.
    IO understand that the pigeons shit on bus benches, and that the worse bench is the one on Melrose at Vine in front of Pavillions. I do not mind sitting on a bus bench with some dried marker comments, but I have a problem with pigeon shit.
    Perhaps you can have the L.A. Sheriffs arrest those flying rats that vandalise those two benches.
    In the meantime, please shut the hell up.

  6. I know this is radical and what not, but I think just urinating on this guys stuff, and then on him for about an hour would be sufficient justice. Oh and it would need to be nice and public.

  7. Possibly cops should come down on people who shoot people. In some part of the city you can get shot and the police are like, “yeah that sucked…” Oh unless you can get someone white to blog about it.

    I say the white part, because there have been blogs done by people of color for years that talk about people who get shot and how horrible it is, but for some odd reason the police only call out the big guns when blogs produced mainly by white people call something very horrible.

    It’s only horrible if a white person notices. I guess that sucks for me and Art.

    I remember Highland Park, Echo Park, South LA (formerly known as South Central) everyone was always very outraged when things happened. The cops did nothing and still do nothing unless a sprinkle of white people have moved in, then all of a sudden the big guns get called out.

    (Yeah and that “we don’t tell who did it,” that’s BS, we tell who did it and then the cops let us get killed so what would you do in that situation? It’s not apathy, but fear, because we know darn well that they cops aren’t going to prosecute the guy anyway, because a black or brown person’s word means nothing…I remember last summer I called the cops about a possible break in at Yuca’s in Los Feliz when the owner was on vacation and do you know who got questioned and the third degree, ME. I realized after about five minutes of being grilled the pig cops were coming at me as if I had done something, because I called them. I guess in their mind there was no possible way that a black person could have been calling to report something if some funny business had not been going on.)

    Anyway your neighborhood gets gentrified and then the cops get very into protecting the new residents and start busting the old ones for things like:

    Spitting, jaywalking, being homeless, oh and if one of those white people get killed, the cops find the person who did it with a swiftness I never thought was possible in Highland Park.

    Why can’t they treat everyone the same?

    I hate the cops.

    They have never ever helped me. They have never ever come in a reasonable amount of time when I’ve called. And they prevent me from defending myself, even though the police don’t want to bother to protect me or my family members who look like me.

    And being on their radar has given me nothing but grief.

    If you are black or brown the cops job in regards to you is to make sure you don’t bother the rest of “civilized” society and they don’t hide that fact and they don’t care if you’re middle class, have a degree, have a suit on, a woman, to them we’re all gang bangers, so of course it would make sense that they would come down on this 23 year old, because it made the view for “civilized” society unpleasant. He should have just tagged in ungentrified neighborhoods, he could have done that as well as kill and deal drugs and the police would have never ever bothered him.

    Better yet he should have joined the LAPD, the smallest and most powerful gang of thugs in Los Angeles.

    Cops suck. They over police certain groups (see the above), but when something happens to members of those certain groups they do nothing (that girl shot at Tommy’s they’ve got nothing on that right.)

    Nothing at all.

    Sorry for bringing it back to race. I know how that disturbs everyone. I wish I wouldn’t have to bring up race either, but cops and certain downtown merchants and eateries continue to remind me on it on a daily basis.

    The above is outrageous, but the most outrageous part of is, if this tagger’s mom got killed the most the cops would do is file a report and then they would go get some donuts. The most coverage she would in the LA blog-o-sphere is maybe on the LA Times homicide report as the “dead latina”.


  8. Maybe you tagger lovers should invite them to your house to make “ART”. The property damage they cause leads the community down the drain. Check out the broken window theory. LONGER SENTENCES FOR TAGGERS!!!!!!

  9. Yeah, throw him in prison for adding a bit of graffiti to an already tagged up city.

    Just look out for him when the system turns him into a hardened criminal, and instead of writing his name on city walls, he takes to robbing people.

    All this is accomplishing is taking minor offenders and turning them into serious criminals.

    If the city really wants to accomplish something, they should stop sending taggers to prison, and instead sentence them to like a million hours of community service.

    It would be proactive, and actually work to cleaning the city up..instead of just turning out harder criminals..and having the graffiti still be there.

  10. Taggers should have a permanent tattoo etched on their foreheads… then let them try to remove it! Let the punishment fit the crime!

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