NewsLocal News


Police arrest local artist for vandalizing mural in St. Pete

The vandalism happened at a St. Pete business
Posted at 9:16 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 23:22:41-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Petersburg Police arrested a 31-year-old for vandalizing a painted mural at a St. Pete business.

The vandalism happened on February 22 at 1 of 1 Customs on 1st Avenue North in St. Pete.

The business owner and local artist, Rasta Geary Taylor, says his painting outside his business was destroyed. It's a painting of his face. The vandal added a mustache and glasses.

"It was a personal attack on me, my face, myself so I didn't see anything cute or humorous about it," said Taylor.

St. Pete Police arrested 31-year-old Jared Hernandez for the vandalism and charged him with criminal mischief.

Officers say a witness saw Hernandez allegedly spraying black spray paint on the mural. The witness took a photo. Taylor says Hernandez is a local artist in the area and got away on a bike. The witness took photos of the suspect on the bike. From there, police connected the dots.

"The person actually pulled out his spray can and started tagging up my sign," said Taylor.

Officers said Hernandez is only facing charges in this crime, but they are still investigating who threw paint on murals at four St. Pete businesses back in January.

Hernandez did not want to comment, but he posted a photo of the vandalism on Instagram. He wrote, "the most expensive doodle ever..."

Taylor says he has fixed the sign with the help of other artists. It took three days to repaint it.