Famed street artist Shepard Fairey, who visited Detroit last month to create the largest mural of his career, faces felony charges of tagging other properties across the city on his own time. A warrant for his arrest was filed in 36th District Court on Friday. He faces two counts of malicious destruction of property, which carry a maximum penalty of five years in jail, plus fines that could exceed $10,000.
Police, who accuse the artist of causing about $9,000 in damage, said that the next time he comes to Detroit, they will arrest him if he doesn’t turn himself in first. “Just because he is a well-known artist does not take away the fact that he is also a vandal,” said Detroit Police Sgt. Rebecca McKay, who oversees the city’s graffiti task force. “And that’s what we consider was done, in these instances, was vandalism.”
Yeah, I’m not sure what’s illegal about “on his own time” either, but such is the state of journalism today. And if you’re wondering how anybody could possibly be charged with vandalism in Detroit, you’re not alone.