Before the bust
At 3:45 in the afternoon on May 18 a tagger went to work on the seawall at the end of Del Monte Avenue in Ocean Beach.
The local who witnessed the event (“Alex”) said, “I was in my yard and the smell of fresh paint hit me. I knew it was a tagger — this is a big problem around here — so I followed my nose and there was this guy with multiple cans of spray-paint tagging the retaining wall south of the O.B. Pier. He was actually spray-painting over another tag that I also witnessed happen on May 8th at 2:00 in the afternoon…. I can't believe they are being so blatant about it.”
San Diego police officers arrived on the scene, and one confirmed that the suspect was arrested — as was his girlfriend, who was drinking alcohol.
On March 22, O.B. resident David Agajanian established a community "Graffiti Task Force" page on Facebook to combat graffiti in the area.
“This group was created as a platform to track and document tagging and taggers here in Ocean Beach,” he wrote. "Teaching and showing respect for our environment and community is very important. Keeping our beach and community clean safe and beautiful is our goal."
On May 13, members of the group donated their efforts and paint to cover up tags in Dusty Rhodes park. Two days later it was tagged again.
“It’s epidemic, not just in O.B., but everywhere,” Alex said. “We’ve gotten much more vigilant about taking action against these taggers, so if they think the community is going to stand by and let them destroy our little beach town, they better think again, we’re literally watching and waiting for them to come tag.”
According to an SDPD spokesman on May 19, the perpetrator had between 10 and 15 cans of spray-paint on him when he was arrested.