Man charged with defacing properties with graffiti

October 24, 2002|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

A member of a group suspected of defacing public and private property throughout the city with crude spray-painted scribblings was arrested this week and is being held at Central Booking and Intake Center, authorities reported.

City police alleged that the suspect, Adrian Akerman, 18, of the 3400 block of Brentwood Ave., is a member of a group that scrawls "DEA" - for Destroy Everything Always - next to its graffiti.

Akerman was arrested Monday by officers of the Police Department's environmental crimes enforcement unit, on a warrant charging him with destruction of property in the defacing of the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall with spray paint. The date of the incident was not determined, said the unit's Sgt. Tammy Tilson.

Akerman also is charged with defacing the Merritt Downtown Athletic Club, off the 200 block of E. Centre St.; Lombard Middle School in the 2600 block of E. Lombard St.; M. Kovens Furniture Co. in the first block of N. Calhoun St.; Barber Transportation Co. in the 800 block of W. Baltimore St.; and several vacant, city-owned houses, Tilson said.

Robert Guye, a Department of Public Works official and supervisor of the unit's investigators, said groups such as "DEA" cost the city millions of dollars annually in cleanup and repair costs.

Tilson said word has spread that Baltimore is an easy city to spray-paint graffiti, and that nothing will happen to those who practice it. "We intend to change that impression," she said.

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