Tagger caught red-handed

Business owners hold teen caught marking on freshly painted
building
A tagger was handcuffed and hauled away to Juvenile Hall after
two downtown business owners caught him defacing a wall outside
their freshly painted building.
Business owners hold teen caught marking on freshly painted building

A tagger was handcuffed and hauled away to Juvenile Hall after two downtown business owners caught him defacing a wall outside their freshly painted building.

The graffiti vandal, a minor, was bold enough to attempt the vandalism in broad daylight just as San Benito High School’s Homecoming parade started down San Benito Street.

The two new businesses, one an upscale gardening store and the other a supplier of vintage architectural materials, share the same historic building on the main street. The owner, Tim Lantz of Architectural Antiques, had just put $40,000 into painting and remodeling the old western-style building. So when he caught a teen scrawling “Rex” on the fresh retro-green paint job with a super-sized permanent black marker, he wasn’t about to let it slide.

“I put months of work into this building – not to have some bozo come and use it as a blackboard,” said Lantz.

Lantz took the teenager into his office and held him there while the proprietor of the store in front called the police.

After calling, Teri Grier, owner of The Old Flower Mill, said she asked the kid how he would like it if she went to his house and started defacing the walls.

“He said he wouldn’t care,” said Grier, who by that time was waiting outside as a Hollister cop questioned the youth. “I told him, ‘Well, your parents might feel a little different about it.’

As fellow classmates looked on from parade floats, the teen was taken away in handcuffs by Officer David Godoy.

GRAFFITI HOTLINE: Local law enforcement agencies urge all homeowners and business owners to report all instances of graffiti. Inmates at San Benito County Juvenile Hall will paint over the mess if you call to report graffiti at 831-636-4050.

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