Police say they caught political paint vandal 1

Police say the graffiti vandal caught on surveillance video is Heriberto Torres, who now faces 138 charges.

One man was determined to leave his political mark in western Queens. But when he went door to door, it wasn’t from house to house but from car to car. And instead of leaving people with palm cards, he left them with spray-painted graffiti vandalism.

Police say that man is Heriberto Torres, 57, of 12th Street in Astoria. They allege he spray-painted 65 cars in the community over four separate sprees, on March 26 and May 18, 19 and 22. The vehicles were defaced with the circled A for anarchy, a plain A or simple straight lines.

Torres was charged with 46 counts each of making graffiti, criminal mischief and possession of a graffiti instrument. He was given a desk appearance ticket and released, the Queens District Attorney’s Office said, and he is due in court July 27.

It’s allegedly not Torres’ first time at the rodeo. Last October, police said, he was charged with making graffiti and criminal mischief. In that case, cars in Jackson Heights were marked with the initials BLM and AOC — commonly used for Black Lives Matter and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx, Queens), respectively.

The DA’s Office, however, said it has no records related to Torres other than those related to the most recent arrest.

The defendant has more than 40 arrests to his name, according to the NYPD. Among the crimes he has been charged with in the past are robbery, criminal sale of a controlled substance, petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, assault, and theft of service. No contact information for him could be found by the Chronicle.


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