NYC Transit cops mounted urgent sting operation when pro-Trump graffiti hit subway station

NYC Transit cops mounted urgent sting operation when pro-Trump graffiti hit subway station
CBS 2 NY video

New York City may not make a priority of keeping criminal illegal aliens from pestering local citizens, but city authorities move fast when they are “flooded” with complaints about pro-Trump graffiti in a subway station.

Complaints from subway riders began on January 9, according to a police briefing given on Tuesday.  (The reporting from local news sources seems to indicate that the briefer, NYPD Transit Chief Edward Delatorre, meant February 9.  In either case, there appear to have been two iterations of the offensive tagging.)

Someone was visiting a station on the R-Line in Brooklyn and tagging a stairwell with “#lovetrump” scrawled in Sharpie.  Apparently the tags were scrubbed off (or painted over), but then reappeared.

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Subway patrons, presumably incensed, made additional complaints.

A short few weeks after the first complaint, according to Transit Chief Delatorre, police huddled with Transit Authority workers to devise a game plan for catching the tagger.  NY Post recounts:

The NYPD and MTA came up with the perfect way to catch a President Trump-loving graffiti artist: They built a wall.

Resourceful transit cops set up a plywood “dummy wall” to hide behind in a Brooklyn subway station and simply waited for their suspect to come to them, police said Tuesday.

The plywood wall was erected on March 12, after the graffiti had once again been removed. Three days later, police manned their hidey-wall, lying in wait behind it for the Sharpie-wielding Trump supporter to show up.

The perpetrator, Jamie Montemarano, 43, didn’t disappoint.  As Chief Delatorre tells it, the cops had to wait only a few hours for Montemarano to make his appearance, Sharpie in hand.

“Sure enough, our man came back and put up again ‘#lovetrump,’” said NYPD Chief of Transit Edward Delatorre. “They caught him live, writing on the beam [in the stairwell].”

Montemarano has no priors and was “cut loose with a desk-appearance ticket for charges including graffiti and criminal mischief.”  When the Post interviewed him by phone, Montemarano said, “I didn’t know it was a sting … This was just a stupid thing to do.”

The New York MTA offered a grave coda to the episode:

“We take graffiti very seriously and work closely with our law-enforcement partners to prevent it in the subway system,” an MTA spokesman said.

Not everyone is impressed with the swift, ingenious response to the pro-Trump graffiti menace.  At least one Twitter user suggests that law enforcement — and media — priorities in New York City may be out of alignment.

It also seems worth asking: if the graffiti had been pro-Obama, would there have been any attempt to even remove it or paint over it, much less try to catch the tagger?

LU Staff

LU Staff

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