FACTS — Christian Ramirez was apprehended on Saturday, August 4, 2012, outside of the Placentia Police Station. Ramirez was seen walking out of the bathroom of the Placentia Police Station that had just been tagged, and was identified by a separate tagging victim who was the station making a report. Ramirez is suspected of tagging multiple city-owned buildings. When police detained Ramirez, he was in possession of a paint marker and several photos of the places he was suspected of tagging. The color of the paint marker matched the graffiti found in the police station bathroom. Although there are no apparent gang connections, the police believe Ramirez was tagging to bolster his street credibility. Ramirez is accused of signing all his images with the moniker “Pergo”. In an interview, Ramirez admitted that negative police contact bolsters his reputation. Ramirez was arrested for felony vandalism.
LAW — Tagging is a form of vandalism, most often perpetuated by younger defendants. Vandalism is a wobbler, which means it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the damaged property and the place of the vandalism. In Ramirez’s case, if any of the damage he created was more than $400, then it’s felony vandalism. Ramirez will most likely be charged with multiple counts of vandalism. The maximum penalty for each count of felony vandalism is 3 years prison. Pursuant to Penal Code section 1170(h), any prison time for vandalism will be served in the county jail as opposed to state prison. You can visit our website for a detailed explanation of vandalism, including elements and defenses.
OPINION — Clearly, Mr. Ramirez’s talents lie in art, not common sense. Who in their right mind tags a police station bathroom? Anybody this dumb deserves to be prosecuted.