COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A 21-year-old man drinking vodka from a plastic cup was caught spray-painting the huge stone monument in Logan Square, police said.
David Jackson, 21, appeared in court Monday on charges of criminal damage to property for allegedly spray-painting "Logan W-T" on the monument, also known as the Illinois Centennial Memorial Column, at 3891 W. Logan Blvd., prosecutors said. Someone saw the taggers on Sunday and called police, prosecutors said.
Police arrived at the monument about 2:30 p.m. and allegedly saw Jackson drinking out of a plastic cup and spray-painting the monument's base.
The Lakeview man tried to ditch the can of black spray paint before running, but officers caught him after a brief chase that ended in the 3200 block of West Wrightwood Avenue, police said.
In his backpack, police found a bottle of Svedka vodka, according to the report.
The graffiti allegedly left by Jackson became one of dozens of tags encircling the base of the monument.
Laurent Kasole, a 21-year-old University of Illinois at Chicago student lounging at the base of neighborhood pillar Monday, said he was in the same spot Sunday when police busted a couple of taggers.
"They weren't here with guns or drugs," Kasole said, speaking to the nonviolent nature of the taggers' crime. "They just want to show where they are from."
Still, the young man bemoaned the state of his favorite hangout, covered in black spray paint.
"The monument tells a story about the history of the state. I know the story," he said. "I guess the kids don't care."
Prosecutors said Monday that Jackson had been picked up earlier the same day and charged with misdemeanor retail theft. Bail for Jackson was set at $50,000.
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