LA police arrest 74-year-old tagging suspect

AP News
Posted: Nov 13, 2009 8:16 PM

A 74-year-old man said to be the oldest graffiti vandal ever captured in Los Angeles County was arrested Friday, authorities said. Deputies spotted the septuagenarian John Scott putting stickers on a stairwell at a downtown Metro Center subway station. The black-and-orange bumper stickers ask, "Who is John Scott?" and have been seen stuck on buses in Baldwin Hills and areas on the Westside of the city.

Stickers used in such a way are referred to as "slap tags" by those in the law enforcement community. They can be adhered to public property in a second or two but are difficult to remove.

Scott faces at least one felony vandalism charge when he is arraigned Monday. Deputies did not immediately know if he'd retained an attorney.

Ruble said the oldest suspect they'd previously arrested for such vandalism was 36.

"We knew our guy was older, but not 74," Ruble said.

Ruble said deputies believe Scott was driven to vandalize buses by the same motivation as younger people that spray graffiti or deface public property: "fame and notoriety."

"It just goes to show, the graffiti culture in Los Angeles is not age-specific and is very diverse," Ruble said.

Scott runs a Web site through which baseball caps and other items displaying his message are for sale.

He refers to himself as a "world traveler, entrepreneur, producer, but, above all, mystery ... the face in the window, the voice on the bus."


Information from: Los Angeles Times,