Tagger Busted at 5Pointz Feels Like Arrest Was 'Entrapment'
QUEENS — One of the six people arrested Wednesday evening for tagging the 5 Pointz building, a day after the graffiti mecca was whitewashed, spoke out Thursday, claiming he was just trying to leave his mark on the iconic building.
“There were no guards there, no police tape, no trespassing signs,” William Marple, 26, a graphic designer, told DNAinfo.com from his Queens home.
“Kids had crayon markers," he added. "They were just writing down their names. They were water-based, washable markers.”
Marple and two others, William Romero, 20, and a 16-year-old girl, were given desk-appearance tickets for criminal mischief and making graffiti at 22-50 Jackson Ave., law-enforcement officials said.
He said that he was told by a woman who claimed to be a teacher that writing was OK as long as they used markers and didn't use their names.
"She didn't know what she was talking about," he said.
Marple said as soon as the trio took out their markers, they were stopped by plainclothes cops.
“He grabbed my arm (and) flashed his badge,” Marple said of one of the officers. “It's the first time I've been arrested. I don't even have a traffic ticket."
"It felt like entrapment. I'm sorry I went to jail for something so stupid."
Before he was taken into custody, he was able to write "peace, love, money" and "RIP 5Pointz."
"It kind of felt good," he said. "I get to say I tagged 5Pointz."
Miguel Collado, 20, Edgar Rodriguez, 19, and Christoper de la Cruz, 19, were also given desk-appearance tickets for slapping stickers on MTA pillars at the Court Street/Jackson Avenue subway stop, police said.
"5 kids arrested at 5 pointz for writing rip messages with markers on walls that are to be destroyed!" @5PointzNYC tweeted at 6:50 p.m. "Nypd in loading dock under cover."
Flageul added that the group tried to dissuade people from tagging the building following the paint job.
The group even went as far as to discourage its Twitter followers from tagging the building.
"we r asking respectfully for the building to remain white, please respect our wish," @5PointzNYC wrote on Twitter in response to a call for fans to gather at the building to tag it Wednesday night.
""We need to figure out a solution to give fans an outlet where they can xpress their farewell," @5PointzNYC added.
Their group, which had helped curate the building's graffiti, held a vigil Tuesday night during which they had people tag on posters or set of wooden panels owned by 5Pointz.
A handful of tags were seen on the building Wednesday morning.
"Jerry I will never forgive you," someone wrote inside the building's loading dock. "You destroyed our home," wrote another.
The message was a reference to building owner Jerry Wolkoff, who had ordered the building painted over before being torn down to make way for high-rise luxury towers.
Wolkoff had allowed artists to tag the building for years before deciding to develop the property.
Organizers said no one had been arrested before for tagging the building, which was known around the world for its collection of graffiti from famous taggers.
Wolkoff said he had workers paint it at night to avoid confrontations.
"I believe what I did in the middle of the morning, early in the morning, was best for both of us because they would have gotten arrested," Wolkoff said earlier Wednesday before the arrests.
Flageul said security guards have been watching the building around the clock since it was painted over.
"Why care?" she said. "Supposedly the building is going down."