Graffiti Artists Grabbed

Santa Barbara – As the midnight hour approached on January 21st, two Santa Barbara Police Department Officers—Nathan Beltran and Tyler Larson—were wrapping up a routine service call just a block from the U.S. 101 overpass on a main Eastside neighborhood thoroughfare when they happened to notice activity on the pedestrian walkway under the freeway.

Eduardo Zavala

From their position a block away, shrouded in darkness themselves, they quietly observed Eduardo Zavala, 18, and another male juvenile as they stopped walking in front of a solid concrete pillar and rubbernecked as inconspicuously as possible.  According to SBPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood, “the two suspects then produced cans of spray paint and started to spray one of the columns of the overpass.”

Beltran and Larson—apparently in something of an unofficial stealth mode—silently approached the pair as the juvenile male then crossed to the busy street’s center median and begin emblazoning another freeway column with his creative vision.  The officers must have walked softly while carrying their big sticks, because neither suspect, “so engrossed in their activity,” as described by Harwood’s report, even noticed the approaching men in uniform until they were within ten feet of them.

As soon as Zavala glimpsed the cops, however, he immediately bolted, running westbound under the freeway, coming to a halt only when loudly commanded to do so by Larson, who summarily took him into custody.  Perhaps somewhat fleeter of foot, the male juvenile fled rapidly, ignoring Beltran’s commands to stop, tossing his can of spray paint into nearby bushes as he sprinted down the street.  As is often the case, however, SBPD officers have a bit of the fast-twitch themselves, and Beltran caught the 17-year-old and brought him quickly under forced control.

Both Zavala and his accomplice were determined to have been in possession of a full quiver of spray paint cans, nozzles, and assorted graffiti tools.  Both suspects were then removed to interview rooms at Santa Barbara Police Department Headquarters where they proved incommunicative.  Zavala was cited for vandalism, possession of vandalism tools, and destruction of evidence.  He was then released with a court date of February 25, 2013, where he will undoubtedly be confronted with the art criticism of the Superior Court.  The male juvenile, similarly cited, was released into the custody of his mother and father, who are undoubtedly experiencing some of the eternal joys of parenthood.

Photo: Courtesy Santa Bartbara Police Department Booking

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Graffiti Artists Grabbed was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara
Tags: graffiti

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