Captain Christopher Manson assigned the 104th Precinct Conditions Team to remove graffiti on a residential garage across from I.S. 73 on 71st Street near Grand Avenue, however when they arrived police observed 18-year-old Maspeth resident Eric Rojas vandalizing the same location.
Newly appointed Conditions Officer Ronald York made the arrest on Dec. 28, one night after receiving a copy of the paper in his mailbox from Manson.
“I did the cleanup the next day,” York said. “It’s all cleaned up now, but I’ll drive by again. As of last Friday, it’s still clean.”
York added that Rojas was spray-painting a “smiley face with a joint in his mouth,” on the same part of the building pictured the week before in the paper.
“There was graffiti all over that building,” Manson recalled when he opened the paper. “I saw it and ripped it out and put it in his mailbox. He goes over there the next night and there’s the guy doing the graffiti art. What are the chances?”
Manson said he is always on the lookout for graffiti, and that officers look for matching tags to locate graffiti patterns.
“Graffiti never stops,” Manson said. “You get any of these eyesores of the week, tell me about them.”
Any merchants that wish to donate paints or supplies to the 104th Precinct’s graffiti cleanup efforts, contact Community Affairs Detective Thomas Bell at (718) 386-2431.