A Chicago man last week was charged with defacing several borough subway cars with graffiti over a two-year period beginning in October 2007.
Zebadiah Arrington, 19, was arrested late last Wednesday night and arraigned on Thursday on dozens of counts of second- and third-degree criminal mischief, which is a felony, and making graffiti and third-degree criminal trespass, both misdemeanors. His bail was set at $10,000 cash or bond. Arrington remains on Rikers Island awaiting his next court date, scheduled for Dec. 12.
According to the charges, Arrington allegedly scrawled his tag, “Zeb,” among other phrases, on seven cars laid up at seven different stations in Queens from Oct. 19, 2007 to Jan. 4, 2010, causing more than $7,600 in damages.
Arrington, a purported member of “Chicago’s Most Wanted” graffiti collective, allegedly hit A trains at the 104th Street and Liberty Avenue, 111th Street and Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard stations in Ozone Park, F trains in the Jamaica yard and at the Van Wyck Boulevard-Briarwood and Parsons Boulevard stations and a 7 train at the Main Street-Flushing station.
Detectives with the NYPD’s Transit Division executed search warrants on Arrington’s e-mail account and recovered photographs of the defaced subway cars. Investigators said Arrington sent the photos shortly after the trains were tagged.
Arrington’s attorney, Florian Meidel, did not return calls seeking comment. If convicted, his client faces up to seven years in prison.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said the investigation revealed that Arrington traveled to the city specifically to write on trains.
“Graffiti is a serious crime against the quality of life of all New Yorkers and will not be tolerated,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “We have spent considerable effort and money cleaning up graffiti vandalism in decades past. We will not permit the scourge of graffiti to overtake our city ever again.”
Arrington’s case recalled that of Bayside native and Woodside resident Danielle Bremner, aka “Utah,” who was sentenced to six months in jail last summer and ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for painting subway cars in Queens over a three-year period.
Bremner and boyfriend Jim Clay Harper were also accused of defacing trains in Chicago, Boston and several European cities.