They suffered for their art

On September 14, 2017, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

By Jim Clark

Police officers were dispatched to the Assembly Row area in the early hours of last Saturday on reports of a group of males tagging property. Due to being on another call at the time, I responded shortly after.

Upon arrival, a police officer who was already on the scene informed the responding officers that two males involved in the tagging had taken off down the path by the river.

The responding officers reportedly saw a group of males fleeing down the path. The officers pursued the suspects and located them on an embankment, hiding under a tree at the edge of the water.

The officers instructed the two individuals, later identified as Jerry Garcia, of Malden, Ryan Downs, of Everett, and Steven Pickren, of Peabody, to walk up away from the water.

According to reports, paints cans were located right where they were hiding, and there was fresh graffiti discovered in the surrounding area where they were hiding.

The officers reported that they could smell fresh paint in the area. Garcia reportedly had paint matching the paint colors of the graffiti on his legs, hands, and t-shirt. Downs had paint on him matching the graffiti on his pants, shirt, right elbow, and hands, police said.

According to police, the following was discovered on their hands – Downs: white, green, and yellow paint; Garcia: yellow and white paint; and Pickren: yellow and white paint.

Additionally, Downs had yellow paint on his right elbow and Garcia had white and orange paint on his legs, according to reports.

A bag was reportedly located directly behind where Garcia and Downs were hiding that contained spray paint matching the graffiti. Both Garcia and Downs denied ownership of the bag. Additionally, a can of spray paint was discovered on the path where numerous graffiti was located, and where the two individuals ran from.

The following is a list of graffiti that was found in the area:

  • The stairway leading to Avalon garage next to Outback- white spray paint with bubble letters the writing “Free World” in yellow, and yellow triangles with Xs. The security camera was also spray painted over in yellow paint.
  • Sidewalk outside of Legoland yellow spray painted triangles with Xs.
  • Loading dock walls next to Nike yellow spray painted triangles with Xs and yellow spray painted smiley face.
  • Electrical boxes in loading area-spray painted yellow.
  • Wooden wall next to Earls- yellow spray painted triangles with Xs.
  • Mural outside of Legal Sea Foods spray painted triangle with Xs.
  • Wall outside of SAKS yellow spray painted triangles with Xs.
  • Dock black dinosaur, green spray painted bubble letters, white and orange spray painted triangles with Xs, white spray painted “I have been dead”.
  • Stones where Downs and Garcia were located had freshly spray painted lettering in green, orange, and white.

Garcia, Downs, and Pickren were placed under arrest and charged with malicious wanton defacement of property.

During the booking process, Pickren reportedly made unsolicited admissions and apologized for his behavior.

The following clothes were confiscated and submitted for evidence: Garcia’s t-shirt with white paint on it; Pickren’s sweatshirt with yellow paint on it and black jeans with yellow and white paint on it, and several other pieces of painted clothing.


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