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Low Flying Helicopter Leads to Graffiti Arrests

Perpetrators Were Tagging This Roof

Feb. 8, 2011 By Christian Murray

Many Sunnyside residents were awoken in the early hours of Monday morning by a low-flying police helicopter.

The helicopter was flying over 42nd and Queens Blvd at 2 a.m. as police were pursuing three teenagers who were tagging the building above Dunkin’ Donuts.

The police tracked them down and arrested them at 41st and Queens Blvd at 2:30 a.m. The three—Jeffery Sanchez, Jonathan Aramis and Aileen Mahmoodi- were all charged with criminal mischief; making graffiti; and possession of a graffiti instrument, police said.

There have been 31 graffiti arrests since the beginning of the year within Police Precinct 108, which covers Sunnyside/Woodside and LIC, according to Lt. Mark Wachter, the 108 precinct’s special operations coordinator.

Of the 72 NYC police precincts, the 108 has made more graffiti arrests than all the other precincts except for the 104, which is based out of Glendale.

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Uncovering the Graffiti of Pompeii

Rebecca Benefiel
News Contact:
Sarah Tschiggfrie
News Director
[email protected]

Lexington, Virginia • August 30, 2009

Today, a kid spray painting a wall with graffiti would probably get arrested.

But 1,900 years ago in Pompeii, Italy, everybody was doing it. They wrote on the exteriors of houses up and down the street, in bath houses and in kitchens. Everything was fair game.

Rebecca Benefiel, assistant professor of classics at Washington and Lee University, has spent the last three years studying the more than 11,000 graffiti in Pompeii. “It’s the only site where we have an entire city’s worth of these messages,” she said.

The graffiti present a combination of writing and drawings, with writing being the more common form of expression. Benefiel said she sees the graffiti as the voice of the people and a lens through which to view ancient society.

* Watch a slide show from Pompeii

For example, while history has not treated the Emperor Nero kindly, he was in fact very popular with the locals in Pompeii. Benefiel came across numerous graffiti saying “Neroni Feliciter,” which roughly translates into “Long Live Nero.”

Of the 100 graffiti praising the different emperors, Benefiel estimates more than half were for Nero. “He was incredibly popular and people loved him. I found a lot of the graffiti at the entrances to houses of the wealthy (who would have had a stake in declaring their support of the imperial regime). But I also found them in places like kitchens and hallways where they could have been put up by servants of the house or slaves. However, after Nero kicked his pregnant wife, killing her and the baby, his popularity waned. But even so, the people didn’t go back and erase all their previous declarations of love.”
It’s the sort of discovery that fascinated and enchanted Benefiel about ancient graffiti.

Interest in the subject has also been surging among other academics. In the past three years, four conferences have been devoted to the topic. By fall 2009, Benefiel will have spoken at three of them.

USA Today also featured Benefiel’s work in an article during the summer of 2009, and she has been interviewed for two programs on the History Channel, due to be aired in early 2010. So far, she has two articles on graffiti in print, with four more articles forthcoming this year. She also has two books in progress and says she has ideas for 15 more articles.

You would think that graffiti nearly 2,000 years old would have been studied extensively by now and that there would be little left to write about.

The reality is that Benefiel is one of few scholars to really study this ancient graffiti of Pompeii. “The graffiti were basically ignored because as one scholar put it, “The graffiti are not written by the kind of people we are most interested in meeting,'” explained Benefiel.

She first came across them in 2005 while researching her dissertation. “They were fundamentally interesting, and I realized that the majority of them had never been studied,” she said.

A major international project begun in the late 1800s documented and cataloged all the Latin inscriptions from the ancient world in every country. Benefiel had worked earlier with stone inscriptions from Rome, but since coming to W&L has focused her studies on the wall-inscription from Pompeii. “They contain a wealth of details about popular culture of the Roman Empire,” she said.

Benefiel added that it was fortunate that the graffiti had been recorded, because many of them have now vanished as the wall plaster they were written on has crumbled.

Two-thirds of Pompeii has been uncovered and is now deteriorating from exposure to strong sunlight, rain, creeping vegetation and tourists. Benefiel said that the authorities have been putting a great effort into preserving the city in the last few years. “But you’re probably not going to see any brand-new excavations any time soon, for that reason,” she said.

Pompeii is unique in its preservation of life as it was in 79 A.D., when Mount Vesuvius erupted. It buried the city with a light pumice stone called lapilli that gradually covered the houses to about the second story during a period of 36 hours. “You can easily shovel the lapilli into a bucket,” said Benefiel. “In a matter of days you’ve got a whole building cleared.”

This means the first stories of buildings are very well preserved, and that is where Benefiel carries out some of her research.

“I really do love Pompeii,” she said. “You can walk through the spaces and feel that people lived here. You can go into someone’s garden or latrine and you know this space because it’s familiar. You’re standing in someone’s house. It’s wonderful for that sense of immediacy.”

These ancient houses all faced inward with an internal court containing a pool and gardens. That left a blank façade facing the street, explained Benefiel, and plenty of space for writing graffiti on what was seen as a public space. In fact all façades of buildings could be written on in every street.

“These walls were huge message boards,” said Benefiel. “What’s really fun is how interactive the graffiti was. It’s fascinating because it shows how engaged the people were in the writing process. They were reading the messages around them and writing responses.”

Benefiel found messages of love exchanged between a man (named Secundus or “Second”) and a woman (named Prima, or “First”) who lived at different ends of a city block.

She discovered a poetry competition with eight messages. “Someone starts off quoting a verse of poetry, and then someone else adds to it and so forth. It’s very interactive and you can see that there are different styles of handwriting.”

Benefiel explained that the graffiti is incised into the wall plaster and all anyone would need was a sharp implement. “It was pretty easy to carve the stucco,” she said. She also found that because it’s much easier to carve a vertical line into the grain of the plaster and harder to make a horizontal line, the three horizontal strokes of the letter E (a common letter in Latin) were turned into two vertical strokes.

The graffiti that is preserved is mostly legible, but Benefiel did need to use a light to cast a sideways shadow to see the incisions better. She said she spends her time measuring, sketching and photographing, but that photographing the graffiti at the same time as holding a light to one side to cast the shadow was impossible.

This past year, thanks to winning the Olivia James Traveling Fellowship from the Archeological Institute of America, Benefiel was able to spend 10 months of the year continuing her research on site. She was finding so much material that she applied for a Lenfest Grant for summer research in order to bring an undergraduate student Pompeii, Jacqueline DiBiasie ’09, to assist her over spring break. Having a second pair of hands and eyes was of tremendous help, allowing her to move more quickly in documenting the graffiti.

“Jackie even discovered a previously unknown graffito, a drawing of a man wearing only a loincloth and dancing,” said Benefiel. DiBiasie begins her Ph.D. in classical archaeology this fall at the University of Texas. When asked about the site, Benefiel said, “Pompeii is so extensive. It has so many nooks and crannies that I’ve spent a summer excavating there, I’ve visited it ten times, and I feel like I’m finally getting to know the city. There is still plenty I haven’t explored and I’m glad about that. There’s always room for discovery. Every time I go back I find something new.”

the god

out of the 100 people that been on that roof they caught 3 lmaooo, and tax payer put your address ill write all over your house you skum bag.


keep writing fellas, never mind these stick up their ass tax-payers, ur taxes do not become higher because there are people vandalizing walls u xxx idiot. Personally i like writing graffiti knowing it makes people like that red in the face angry, good luck catchin us!!!

Mr. B. D.

I agree graffiti artists are losers they all work dead end jobs and smoke weed they all need to get caught and serve mandatory sentences even if it is a month or two maybe after getting raped jail they’ll think twice.


aileen, you are a low life, piece of trash. i blame your parents for not giving you a good ass beating and putting you in your place. it’s so upsetting to think that the taxes i pay are going towards paying for these police helicopters used to arrest losers like you. your graffiti is DISGUSTING! GO TAG UP YOUR FILTH ON YOUR MOTHER’S HOUSE! YOU F*CK UP, YOU’RE WORTHLESS AND YOU WILL NEVER AMOUNT TO ANYTHING! I HOPE YOU END UP IN JAIL BECAUSE PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE LIKE PARASITES-YOU TAKE, TAKE, TAKE AND GIVE NOTHING VALUABLE IN RETURN!

The Bigger Picture

7line king
Aileen Mahmood
And any other writer .. Watchu write?

Asto AF crew! DF!

7 line KING

ur in the wrong game if 1) u told vs u tag especially the 108…2)ur on this bullshit ass website admitting shit with ur real name with the neighborhood loser hipsters and ex-hipsters 3) everytime u defend weed/graffiti ur still on ur real name. Quit while ur ahead or change ur post name or something.
Also u lame losers,graffiti is a felony but only so u’ll do the night in jail and not get released with a DAT ticket. when it does hit a real court date, its only a few days community service and a bullshit fine dropped to a violation similar to jaywalking..

Scott J and JZ i would love to write on ur house/apt …..oh wait i prolly already did….lol……haha

Aileen dont know you or what u write but everyone on that roof is a toy..
its all x and evil e’s fault forr opening the toy chest we now call the seven line.

one last thing ….dump bloomterd

Aileen Mahmoodi

i never claimed to be a badass, ive actually claimed to be the complete opposite.
AND i wasnt complaining about the issue of why its illegal or not
AND being that i do graffiti i think i know what the alternative (legal) ways to enjoy it are
AND fighting is a violent crime, while graffiti isnt
so youre whole argument is invalid

but, i guess you mustve skimmed through that whole essay and a half…

Since youre concerned enough to be up at 3 am commenting on an article from MONTHS ago i guess i should restate myself

having a felony is a serious thing, and it prohibits you from having certain careers. giving a felony to a young adult is a bad start to their young adult life and makes it hard for them to be successful in life. a felony makes financial aid harder to get, even a regular job SUPER hard to get… you cant do that to young adults. its discouraging enough to make someone give up and thats bad for a community as a whole!
you ignorant f$$k

Aileen Mahmoodi

i chose an illegal outlet when i was younger…
and i got introuble for it years later
so i have a f$$king issue with it


anyone saying art this art that is crazy. for every interest there is a legal outlet and an illegal outlet.
if you are so into art go to the school of video arts and get emplyed in the industry…not writing on my wall. the whole expression and art arguement is ridiculous.

i am into boxing and martial arts. should i just practice it on the streets or practice my interests leagally in a ring.

for any grafitti artist claiming they should be able to express themselves and all that i doubt they’d like it when i walk sunnyside having boxing matches on the street.

there is a legal and organized outlet. you choose an illegal outlet


no aileen if you are 16 and tagging up it is still horrible but 16 year olds make mistake, 16 year olds have a warped sense of what is “cool”…those who are 18 and 19 and still tagging up really need to grow up.

Aileen Mahmoodi

of that size? none of you people know what was done on that roof by who so dont go talking about “of that size” like you know how big it was. that building, like many other buildings have had graffiti on it for years… why would the building owner sue? i only sound like a ghetto hood rat because you disapprove of what i’ve done. im nothing of the sort, so i’d appreciate if that thought was shot down, now. who is making it sound like this is the hood? all i ever see on the sunnyside posts is complaints about rotten kids and pawn shops… so between the two of us, who really considers this a ghetto. i mean, i understand the reason for the complaints is to keep this neighborhood the way it is, but really… you cant deny that my generations culture (weather you approve or disapprove of it) adds a little flavor to sunnyside. i love this neighborhood, and i love all the people in it regardless of how you feel about the arrest. i know im not a bad person, even if i did graffiti. there is just so much you people dont know! it’s crazy! you can throw the idea of 5 points or the phun factory at a graffiti artist all you want… you dont know the process you have to go through for that. you guys make it sound so simple. and this article, this article is such trash. what news do you get from this?? some kids caught on a roof for graffiti, you dont know shit else. out of the three of us who got caught on that roof that night, only one cannot do graffiti with the same tag ever again. just because someone gets a caught on a roof (with no spray cans!), they arent found guilty and locked up. sorry, didnt mean to burst your bubble. the only one of us who vandal squad actually caught as a graffiti writer, was me. AND THAT’S REALLY ONLY BECAUSE I CONFESSED TO MY TAG! why?! because the last time i actually did it was 4-5 years ago. so if you want the truth, i got arrested for graffiti i did as a minor… 4 years later, because i thought i was doing the right thing. it really aggravates me that you guys are making me feel like more of a criminal than the law does. i didn’t feel half as strongly about this subject as i do now and i think thats because of the things that were said in the comments of these posts. I’m not a bitch that wanted to come on here to start problems, i was hurt by what was said. This whole post, was truly an eye opener on how the community feels about graffiti. And i apologize for it taking some hostile comments for me to actually get what im trying to say out… it’s a non violent crime and i understand why it’s wrong, however, i just really feel like more serious issues need to be dealt with.
if anyone is still reading this long comment, thank you…
i attended the most recent community board meeting, and i was disgusted by the turn out. Seriously, no offense… but it was a bunch of really old people. not to say that their concerns don’t matter, but when you look at the bigger picture… what percentage of the community do they make up? and what percentage of our community issues are actually being heard? attended to? issues that concern my peers do not involve giving a truck driver a fine for parking on my block.
i understand now, how much of an eye sore you guys see graffiti as. the thing you dont know is that the 108 did a good job of catching almost all the members of a crew in sunnyside. so who gets penalized to the fullest extent of the law now? these younger 15, 16, 17 year olds. they’re records get cleaned anyway. And unfortunately, the older 18 and 19 year olds… they get charged with a felony. I guess it doesnt sound heinus crime to me, but let me put things in perspective. An 18 year old is just starting their life as an adult. sometimes, we dont always have it all together. young adults need a little help in the beginning and to start your adult life with a felony can only lead you to a downward spiral. There are so many things you CANT do with that F on your record. Understandable, a crime is a crime is a crime… but a felony for a non violent crime WHICH might i add is really MAINLY being commited by teens… that’s a little much. and i dont think you guys are really seeing how a punishment [like that] for a crime that has only in, recent years has been taken more seriously, can really mess someone’s life up in the long run. that’s really the only reason i’ve been coming off so hostile in these comments

30-year Sunnyside Resident

That would be were not where genius. And unless you own the building you have no business writing on it. For your information, graffiti removal of that size is not cheap. I hope the building owner sues you for the cost of the removal and you have to clean up the tags (not art) throughout the neighborhood for community service. If you grew up in this neighborhood and continue to live here then you should respect it. Sunnyside is not a ghetto nor has it ever been. You sound like a wanna-be little ghetto rat. YOU GREW UP IN SUNNYSIDE. We don’t live in the projects. Stop making it sound like it’s so rough on these streets. You and your little punk friends are the MINORITY, and you are an embarrassment to our neighborhood. And by the way, people’s names plastered all over the place is not art. Go down to the phun factory where that is welcomed.

Aileen Mahmoodi

oh please scott, i think there is sufficient evidence in previous comments that i’m well aware of how to use a f$$$$g apostrophe. you obviously aren’t interested in the subject enough to know that these studios and shit require more than just showing up.

oh and i apologize, where you wearing the building i wrote on?
or did you pay for that wall? live on the other side of it? no? oh, okay.
the building owner has probably dealt with graffiti related shit before and didnt seem to care enough to do anything about it.

Scott J

Aileen….how about you tell us all where you were or live, and I’ll show up with some spray paint and tag the shit out of your clothes you’re wearing. Hey, it’s art. I hope your parents beat you when you got home. And this is coming from a life-long Sunnyside resident, so save your little primitive “I’m so hardcore for being a Sunnysider rant.” Also, before you go correcting people’s grammar learn to use an apostrophe for contractions.

Scott J.

To Aileen Mahmoodi….don’t correct someone else’s grammar and then not use an apostrophe on “didn’t.” I hope your parents beat you after you were arrested. And to sunnyside/woodside resident, SOME of the street graffiti can be called art, though the vast majority are idiots tagging their names, as if they think the have some kind of claim to the area. Go open up a studio that can be a “positive outlet for their art” or however you pretentiously worded it.

Oppressed Masses

May I say in my humble opinion, the scrawls depicted in the news photo is not art. It looks like garbage.

Aileen Mahmoodi ...the VANDAL

you shouldn’t go around name calling, it’s not polite.
and i believe it’s you’re and not your, if you’re going to insult me, i’d appreciate if you did it properly.
I apologize for waking your 7month old… but the helicopter was unnecessary, so i think the blame should be pointed elsewhere.
I didnt tag that roof that night, so i think you need to retract that whole statement.
Lastly, I highly doubt that they contribute more than i ever will especially because i was involved in a lot of shit as a kid.
You also shouldn’t assume that all graffiti artists are hoodlums. when im not getting arrested i work at cold stone making people ice cream and trying to make their day just a little better and when im not doing that im in school and when im not in school im playing basketball and when im not doing that im coaching it and when i have free time i read a fucking book. so suck on that. my mother loves me dearly.
oh and for the record,
i didnt go to bryant. i went to laguardia… the performing arts school… you know the specialized arts school


I am also a Sunnyside resident, born and raised, you are an effing moron. It’s idiots like you who need to get their asses kicked. You obviously have nothing better to do then graf, like every other moron, who went to 125 and Bryant…

30-year Sunnyside Resident

You want to graff no prob! Do it on your own property! Who the hell are you to tag someone elses? You have a car? Let me draw my art all over it and see if you like it. So sad to hear your legit upset. Because of you and your little punk friends I and my 7month old were woken up by damn helicopters at 2 in the morning. You have some nerve telling people to get used to the sh*t you call art. I’m all about people expressing themselves but not at others expense. You want to draw your art then do it on your own property. And the whole innocent until proven guilty thing…. ummm I think you said you were one of the taggers so it doesn’t seem like there’s anything to prove you moron. I was born and raised in this neighborhood, I’m no “yuppie” that you refer to. And by the way, those “yuppies” contribute way more to this neighborhood than you ever will. I’ve seen sh*t like you before…little neighborhood punks. You won’t last long. Let me guess, when your not ruining other people’s property your hanging out at the park kicking back forties with homies and passin a blunt. Future leaders of America. Your mommy must be proud.


Don’t the police have better things to do than go around and wasting money flying around in choppers looking for graff artist… last I remembered fuel for a helicopter isn’t cheap at all and it doesn’t come out of thier salaries. The police need to solve crimes and graff should be on thier priority… maybe murder, robberies, and crimes aren’t important to them Graff is a art no matter what people may think personally I know the people they were looking for that night and all those on this blog talking out of there asses should know those people you point your fingers and single out, YOU have no right to judge them you don’t know them and if you haven’t lived less than 10years you shouldn’t even have a say this neighborhood. Sunnyside was so much more live before people with your mindset starting moving into our nieghborhood I love seeing the graff that everyone puts up it’s Queens and it’s in your face so you should move Downtown if you dont like it here and I’m no graff artist this is a non bias opinion. Just because it’s something your not into, you shouldn’t be ignorant. We were here before you so don’t out here come if you like it.

prolly wrote on acouple your houses....

@ Sen thorton- your stupid, thats really all there is too it.

“brave souls on the internet”? you’re the main one writing paragraphs about what kind of time these kids should get and what they’re parents should have about you worry about your own kids. you Also you must not know sunnyide very well, theres ALOT more graffiti artists in sunnyside than you think.i fucking dare you to start talking all this shit around the hood and see what happenes. pretty much every graffiti artist i know has either lived in sunnnyside for ten plus years or grew up and started writing there, so how bout taking aileens advice.

speaking of her, i know aileen and how dare you suggest she get ten years in jail for this for dumb fuck?hundreds and hundreds of walls wouldn’t be worth yen years.hopefully you dont become a judge, lawyer, or parent of someone that likes the way they’re writing stands out on a wall compared to a mc donalds advertisment.whos worse i wonder, someone writing on walls or someone that would send a teenager to jail for ten years?

susan -your all going off making jujments about people you dont even know over a story that you dont even know the half of, keep in mind that these are peoples lives your talking about, which are worth way more than your house/wall etc.
oh and pauly glad to have you out of sunny side, the rest of you should follow his lead.

sair 76


no, I’m legit upset.
I want to know how many people have lived in the neighborhood for more than 5 years. I feel like I’m gettin repremanded by a bunch of yuppies. Yeah, I fuckin said it. Well, you shouldve spent more time getting to know the roots of the neighborhood before you moved here.
I’ve lived here my whole life and maybe, I don’t like what YOU’ve done to sunnyside.  Seriously, what the fuck have you contributed to this neighborhood? If you weren’t born and raised here, I doubt you have the emotional ties that a resident of 19 years has.  I’m the nice person who sees that a meter with 5 minutes left and helps a stranger by dropping my fuckin quarter in it.  You’re all getting mad at eachother for assuming shit, but then you go and assume shit about the perpetrators, like we’re bad people.  Shame on you.  Talk about setting an example.  Look at the shit you’re saying! Some of you should be ashamed.  I’m probably the same girl who smiled at you just passing by in the streets, but all the good I do gets canceled out because of this? Are you kidding me?
See if you’d be better off in williamsburg or LIC. This is the third best neighborhood in NYC because of the diversity of people and their intrests. I can just as easily say the the village is a horrible place because of all the taboo, but I’d be lying.
I’m going to assume that those of you who are so very against graffiti have never been arrested before. And that’s all good and awesome… But, heres some advice; a jail sentence is not something you should wish on anyone. You obviously don’t know what 10 years in jail can do to a person and if you do, and wish that anyway you are sick.

And for the fucking record, we haven’t been proven guilty thus far so stop talking about it like getting arrested and being sent to jail on a sentence is the same thing.

another hoodside hoodlum

hahahah aileen they are just buggin wilden out for no reason crime is always going to be there worry about violent crime not this bullshit
either way puttin non violent offenders in jail makes them hardcore criminals most of the time so when they come out they are coming right back here
graffiti is more of a nuisance not a crime

woodside/sunnyside resident

I was going to try and say something in defense of these evil graffiti terrorists, but Miss. Mahmoodi seems to have it covered. Btw, I need my neck sock back! There are no more blizzards any time soon 😉

Aileen Mahmoodi ...the VANDAL

hey, i bet you thought those miscreants weren’t smart enough to use the internet. 10 years in jail for graffiti? really?! it’s not like we weren’t trying to hurt anybody? And how dare you drag my parents into this, talking about how they didn’t raise me right. who the fuck raised you to have no heart. Are you gonna tell me you’ve never written on a dollar before? Really? That’s a Federal crime, whether you knew it or not. I understand why vandalism is wrong, i mean, i have morals too. This article says nothing about the type of person that i am. i went to an art high school, i got really good grades and i played basketball… i just so happened to be good at graff as well. I’m not a bad kid at all and to read these comments kinda hurt. we’re all members of the same community and although you may not find what graffiti artists do aesthetically appealing, you just cant go talking reckless like that. i would never disrespect any one in this neighborhood like that regardless of what their personal vices consist of… and that is out of respect. so, dont even try to say that by doing this i have no respect. my mother always told me i shouldn’t talk down on things i know nothing about; you CLEARLY know nothing about it. so, where the fuck are you coming from? there are so many vandals in this neighborhood, the tags that we allegedly did got painted over the next night by other people. graff it’s something thats not gonna stop (especially in this neighborhood), so maybe you should just get used to it, learn the culture, learn to appreciated it and stop being so narrow minded. not all art was considered art when it first started… but, im not going to turn this into a history about water-colors.

they 108 cops admitted to us that they made a scene for no reason.
a helicopter, a paddy wagon, the big swat looking truck, 6 cop cars, and dogs… WAS a little much.

yes, i actually did have work the next day and almost got fired for a no call no show since i was stuck in central bookings getting fingerprinted 5 times being that this is my first offense.


It is absolutely is vandalism in addition to being an eyesore! I wonder if these poor misunderstood kids have any other arrests? I will bet they do.


Pauly, you are right about the qualify of life vanishing in Sunnyside/Woodside. We have punks running around using drugs and selling dope publicly – in addition to empty stores, graffiti punks, noise, etc. plus people making excuses for criminals. Graffiti is a crime and I think that selling spray paint is also a crime. Look at the people making excuses for this! Graffiti is an eye sore.


When I recently told someone I lived in Sunnyside, she said, quite increduously, “Really? Do you like it?” “I love it!” I said. Her reply? “Really? Because every time I go by on the train, it looks like a bombed out, graffittied wasteland.” Thanks, taggers, for projecting such a great image about our beautiful neighborhood!

Taggers are simply dogs peeing on fire hydrants. They do no good whatsoever. They’re vandals who ruin the quality of life for everyone and bring down the entire area.

If they have “art in their hearts” – and to be sure, some of them do – hey, Five Pointz is just a short subway ride away. Heck, they could even walk. Why don’t they go over there and leave our neighborhood alone?

I’ll tell you why – because it isn’t about art for them. It’s about vandalism, plain and simple.

Keep those arrests coming!


glad to say i moved out of the neighborhood and do not miss it at all. It seems to me the quality of life in woodside and sunnyside has vanished.

Sen thorton

We r tryin to have an adult conversation here.atom you r the only one making threats,i respect your opinion if u had one so please respect mine


Atom, you are a complete moron. Please keep posting so I can continue laughing at your idiotic rantings.


@ Sen Thornton. Hey, you know when you say things like “so many tough souls on the internet”, you yourself don’t sound tough or anything…right? I no longer hope someone punches you in in the junk for suggesting teenagers should get a decade in prison for graffiti. I now hope you die in a fire for it.


sunnyside / woodside resident

“2:53 pm Maybe instead of you all being ready to be so harsh on the punishment FOR graffiti. You should lobby your community leaders into giving a LEGAL OUTLET for the graffiti, and the art that these people hold in their hearts.”

Are you seriously arguing that graffiti is somehow a “RIGHT” of an artist???? Seriously? You want a legal outlet? Buy a farking wall.

I love graffitti art. Everything from Keith Haring to Banksy to Crash to old school like Kilroy. But that is art (yes I know art is subjective yada yada but let’s be serious here). What these kids do (and 99.9% of taggers do) is complete vandalism.

Think it is okay to graffiti? Tell that to the kids whose mural across teh street from Woodside Middle School was ruined last summer by some idiot tagger.


“Nor any grasp on the reality of how many graffiti writers are 100 percent the common day michealangelos.”

You clearly have no grasp of the monumental, discipline, God-given, talent of Michaelangelo and his enduring and timeless art. Comparing the ultimate master of the Renaissance to a graffiti “artist” who lacks even the wits to procure his own canvas and easel, is like comparing Mozart or Beethoven to a bongo player. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion as I am entitled to not take it seriously.

You are the one so passionate about giving graffiti “artists” a proper forum and yet don’t put your money where your mouth is. That’s more of a charitable cause you are free to support or not. Expecting the laws against vandalism to be enforced should not require an extra donation above their taxes from citizens. Last time I checked, it wasn’t possible, nor is it a good idea that people with enough money could pay the government to lock up people they don’t like.

sunnyside / woodside resident

@ roger

Sorry but i guess you cant grasp that you are hypocritical in your own comments.

You asked why dont i personally cut a check, or in fact, you said what is stopping me…. ME… not taxes, paid by us all as a whole.. but me as a single individual human being.

So i asked you, why dont you… PERSONALLY (not a group payment ….which in this case is taxes)

Also you clarifying you been to museums does nothing but fortify my earlier statement. You clearly have NO knowledge of the progression of graffiti art WHEN GUIDED CORRECTLY. Nor any grasp on the reality of how many graffiti writers are 100 percent the common day michealangelos.


@ sunnyside / woodside resident

“I guess same thing thats stopping you from personally funding 10 year jail sentences for graffiti writers.”

I do, it’s called taxes.

Personally, I’d rather have their families’ forced to pay to clean up the messes they foist on us.

“And you must not be into any type of art….”

You presume a lot. I’ve been to the great art museums of Europe and marveled at the great architecture so if you are trying to suggest that because I don’t like graffiti that makes me some sort of cultural illiterate, you are way off the mark. I’d be insulted but your opinion is of little value judging by your comments.

biggest graffiti artists of queens

Graffiti amongst drugs robbery s will lurk the street’s
Of Sunnyside woodside queens manhatten bronx and etc wake up people
Don’t tak bout it be about it. Go clean the walls. 10years for graffiti
wow I wish that was one of your misguided children so u can see wat 10 years is
People who do. Attempted murder don’t even get 10j


2:30 a.m.? I guess they weren’t planning on going to “work” or to class the next day. These are miscreants and the court should throw the book at them. And if they had had an accident on the roof, you can be damned sure that their parents would have sued the building’s owners.

sunnyside / woodside resident

@ Roger…. again

BTW Who is stopping you from writing out a check so these artists can get themselves some proper canvases to paint on?

— are u serious ? Youre asking me what is stopping ME from writing the check ?

I guess same thing thats stopping you from personally funding 10 year jail sentences for graffiti writers.

So yea, think for more then a “nanosecond” prior to your next response.

sunnyside / woodside resident

@ Roger …. Maybe, well actually, You DEFINETLY miss-read what I said, I never ever said nor did I assume people were “OK with the pedophiles, rapo’s, etc…..” The subject was only brought up to show something that is 10x more of a problem in our neighborhoods BUT…… in for the topic of graffiti, people are saying to lock them up for 10 years etc etc.
And you must not be into any type of art, or lack the knowledge of ANY of the countless famous graffiti artists who have gone on to become modern day Michaelangelos. But alot of them are limited, they dont have the areas to paint, to expand, to try to do what they love to do.

I understand, 100 percent… The tagging etc, can be an eyesore to some. And the unwritten rules and morals of graffiti, that used to be followed ….. tends to not be followed anymore.

Id personally love to see store gates completed, with neighborhood names, friends, loved ones, store names……. then the grey bleek dark nasty things we see.

In the end , all we can do is agree, to dissagree.


As for kids who “need” to create art: for the price of a can of spray paint they could buy some paper and paint or pencils or markers. If they are enterprising enough, and have enough energy to be on a roof at 2 AM, perhaps they could invest in some shovels and help out neighbors during snowstorms AND earn money for their “art supplies,” but perhaps put them to some good use.

Even if they painted the most beautiful picture (which doesn’t appear to be the case here) if they weren’t authorized to do it, then it’s not right! They do NOT have the right to do this. Period.

At first I wondered why the helicopters had to be out for this–though I hate tagging, graffiti, and wouldn’t want kids on my roof at any hour, I questioned it at first but upon further consideration I believe that if the police got a call about “kids on the roof” they may have been concerned about a possible jumper or that someone was going to be assaulted.

I would not advocate 10 years in jail–the jails are overcrowded as it is, and I think there would be no chance of that person becoming a useful member of society. What about a sentence involving having to clean the stuff up? And shoveling snow!

Now what would be useful to know is whether that building is ever going to be fixed up. When was that fire? Seems like it was some time ago.


Just curious, did the 108th give you any heads up that we should expect more nighttime helicopter chases going forward? There must be more taggers out there and apparently they operate at night.


@sunnyside / woodside resident

By what sort of demented logic do you presume that because somebody is angry and fed up with their neighborhood being vandalized and devalued by graffiti that means that person somehow is ok with pedophiles and other sexual criminals? I mean really, did you think about that for more than a nanosecond?

This isn’t about the merits of a particular kind of art. When you spray paint over someone’s property and create a public eye sore, it’s VANDALISM. Stop trying to make it sound as if these kids are junior Michaelangelos and just painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

BTW Who is stopping you from writing out a check so these artists can get themselves some proper canvases to paint on? Let’s face it, their motivation is to mark their turf and get their tags in everybody’s face.


I actually like sen thornton’s idea-if 10 years becomes the standard penalty, graffiti would no longer be a problem. This country is too soft-enough with coddling this generation of whiners and idiots-its time we toughen up the laws and see how “tough” these disrepectful brats really are.

And to those posters here who think this kind of tagging is “art”-why not post your address so we can invite the kiddies over for a paint party?


Attention: Sunnyside Post , My family was getting ready to leave for a busy day and we heard the helicopters circling overheard nearby. I was wondering what the police were looking for. Now I have my answerer. This web site has an incredible abiity of finding out everything that is going on in our town and really keeps us all informed. You need to be the first place we look at in the am or pm for the latest news . Kuddos to you and finding all these stories both good and bad aboiut ouir town


What would have happened if they would have fallen off the buiding and got killed. They do not belong up there. If they want to be an artiist there are plenty of places to do their art work. They do not have to use a brick buildidng for their work Why waste the police helicoter to find then and stop them.


This is tagging – it is not art – and sometimes there are really nasty messages in the tagging. There are cops who know how to read it. Don’t kid yourself: graffiti is a crime against the quality of life of our neighborhood and an eye sore to boot. If you were a store owner, and your store had been tagged, you would be very angry.


I will toss graffitti “Artistes” off any damn roof I catch them on.

A natural consequence of seeking a thrill.


For the most part, I feel like “art” is in the eye of the beholder. It’s subjective. But there’s a huge difference between graffiti as an art form and ugly “tagging,” which is what this is.

But whether or not a person thinks it’s nice to look at (and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone that thinks the hot mess shown above looks good) the bottom line is that they shouldn’t be painting on something that’s not theirs.

I don’t think these kids are compelled by an artistic spirit that they simply can’t contain. If so, they’d probably find other outlets. No, the kids who tag our neighborhood are just doing it to be punks.

They should be required to do community service in our neighborhood to bring a little positivity in and make up slightly for the visual crap they inflicted on us.

sunnyside / woodside resident

@ sen…. I apologize as you did not state the throwing rotten fruit, But you did state 10 years in jail. Come on …. for graffiti ? My point is still stable and correct, there is no other outlet for these kids, and young adults that do it. There is no positive aspect achieved from going to jail for such a mundane thing.

But regardless of what you actually said or not, my point is still given to show how people tend to comment on things without thinking of our more serious problems in the neighborhoods we all call home. Not just woodside, this goes for every neighborhood, either suburb, or ghetto, hi or middle class.

So instead of just clarifying that molesters need more then fruit thrown at them, and stating what the post is clearly about….. how about feed some knowledge or thoughts on the situation. From a logical point of view. Instead of the way you did it.

Sen thorton

The post was about graffti not molesters,and I didn’t talk about throwing fruit .molesters deserve a lot more than that

sunnyside / woodside resident

@ sen thorton……. Its a shame, because i dont see anyone talking about the child molesters, and sex crime convicts that roam in our neighborhoods. Filled with children, woman, and schools……

Why is there NO outrage to pelt them with rotten fruit and veggies ? Why ? Because its NOT legal to do so….. its wrong and immoral. EVEN thou we may all agree, They are true scrounge of society…… NOT the little knuckleheads that happened to do graffiti in the neighborhood.

sunnyside / woodside resident

Maybe instead of you all being ready to be so harsh on the punishment FOR graffiti. You should lobby your community leaders into giving a LEGAL OUTLET for the graffiti, and the art that these people hold in their hearts.

Just because you dissagree on what art is, does not mean art is not what it is. Graffiti for myself, as well as for others…. Is a disease of addiction. Same way an alcoholic urges and fiends for a drink, same way the shop-a-holics MUST MUST bye things and over spend their budgets. Same way the druggies need their fix….. same way some people who have a load of money, seek the thrill and adrenaline to rob someone.

Its an addiction, and placing teens, kids, young adults in jail for years at a time as a punishment for a NON-Violent crime….. Is 1000000 percent the wrong thing to do. Yes their is the legal aspect of graffiti @ 5 points in LIC. BUT that does not attract the attention of younger, newer writers that want to do it. Also 5 points shows favoritism toward certain levels of writers and artists….. basically if your NOT good…. you cant paint there.

So where do you place these young artists ? There is no place…
Some ask where are the parents, …. ask yourself where were your parents when you did something wrong … I am sure that they were great parents if not the best to each and everyone that ask that, BUT it is impossible to cover your childs where-abouts each and every second of the day.

Its my two-cents….. and i speak from experience. As being a graffiti writer on both planes….. Legal and Illegal. And being sent to jail for it and having a felony on my record also.


What’s with that building in the picture? It might actually look better covered in graffiti. Maybe the kids were doing community service.


And let’s not forget the kids who have made Sunnyside Gardens their personal fiefdom with their drugging and robbing.


@ Sen Thornton: I hope someone punching you XXXXX for suggesting teenagers should spend a decade in prison for writing graffiti on a building.


Ugh that woke me up the other night. Between that and the car alarms I couldn’t sleep until 3am! I figured they were looking for a murderer, not grafitti kids. Where were their parents? This is absolutely ridiculous. Honestly, I get that “kids will be kids” but graffitti shows an absolute disrespect to your neighbors and the actual work that goes into owning or renting a home. Of course kids without jobs would be the ones to think tagging a neighborhood is “fun”.


Put them in the stocks for a day so local residents can throw rotten fruit and vegetables at them.


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