Grafitti teen sentencing

Submitted by lmcshane on Tue, 08/28/2007 - 19:41.
09/10/2007 - 09:00
09/10/2007 - 12:00


From my neighbors:  You may remember stories in in the PD about two suburban teens who executed extensive graffiti in Ohio City and near Archwood/Dennison. When arrested, they said their crime didn't matter "since Cleveland is a run-down ghetto city so who cares." 

We do care and those who would like to join our neighbors to show we do care by a show of support at the sentencing of these young men, please plan to attend sentencing on Monday, Sept. 10 at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 22C, Justice Center, before Judge Judith Kilbane-Koch, Court of Common Pleas, 1200 Ontario.

Suburban teens accused of Cleveland graffiti spree
Plain Dealer, The (Cleveland, OH)
May 16, 2006
Author: Michael O'Malley; Plain Dealer Reporter

A suburban teenager, arrested in Cleveland on suspicion of spraying graffiti on buildings, told police he did it because "it's a run-down, ghetto city, so who cares."

Daniel Horvat, 19, of Wickliffe, faces vandalism charges for defacing at least 20 buildings on the city's near West Side, including a school and a Masonic Temple, police said.

Horvat and Danny Zhang, 18, of Seven Hills, were arrested last week after running from police on patrol for vandals spraying paint at the Great Lakes Brewing Co., a popular brew pub in Ohio City.

When police asked why they had spray-paint cans in their coat pockets, Horvat said, "It's no big deal. We spray-painted the garage doors," according to a police report.

On their way to a police station for booking, Horvat and Zhang pointed out other near West Side buildings they had tagged.

When officers asked them why they did it, they said, "It's cool to see your name all over the city."

Graffiti taggers Daniel "Peek" Horvat of Wickliffe and Danny "Chang" Zhang of Seven Hills pled guilty to numerous felony counts in Judge Judith Kilbane-Koch’s courtroom on August 9th. Peek pled guilty to 24 felony counts, most of which were 5th degree felonies, and Chang pled guilty to a lesser amount. 


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Gregarious Graffiti Grievance

Its a disappointing and destructive diversion of teen talent, in my opinion.  Graffiti art has certainly become en vogue - forms of it actually helped talents like Basquiat become known. Certainly vandalism is not to be condoned, but there are mechanisms in play in the form of dedicated and well-meaning nonprofits like my friend Santina Protopapa's Progressive Arts Alliance.  If these youngsters are (and they should be) offered an opportunity to contribute more civilly, legally, and artisically once they have satisfied legal admonishments -  it would be wise to route them to organizations like PAA, who can help channel these 'urban' talents productively to NEO's public art benefit.


Show of solidarity

These teens may have redeemable qualities and I hope that we see that side at the sentencing.  Personally, I am not out for a stiff sentence.  I only want these suburban kids to realize that people living in the city are not an abstraction.  We are real people. 

I will say that I am beginning to think of people, who live in the suburbs, as an abstraction.  To me, they live outside of reality.  While they think that they may have it good--they are missing out on rich human interaction and the basics of life. 
Drive your kids to school, drive yourself to the park, drive yourself to the grocery to buy milk.   You don't sense the disconnect? Do you really enjoy the fake community of Legacy Village and Crocker Park?

Despite the occasional human shortcomings of my neighborhood (that can occur anywhere), I feel like they are the "poor" and we are the rich.  I am the one who has it good.  Peace to you, too, Sudhir :) Laura

AFTERTHOUGHT--Paint it RED.  Perhaps we can give these kids an opportunity to make a dramatic impact on the neighborhood by painting the panels of the Brighton-Brooklyn Bridge RED.  It's a gateway to downtown and it frames a sprawling vista. 

More of an AFTERTHOUGHT--Last night 8/31, after viewing Feagler & Friends hosted by Rick Jackson, who I much prefer as a moderator to Mr "I live in Bay Village because I am afraid of po' city folk" Feagler, I've decided that I am going to publicly out anyone portraying themselves as "Clevelanders" and using "we" to describe themselves, when they live in the suburbs or exurbs.  Stop talking for me.

Actually, I am asking the PD to list the information, much like they routinely list a person's age in the context of an article.  Something like: Dick Feagler, 110, Bay Village, says...

So, where do Port Director Adam Wasserman and Union Boss Harriet Applegate live?  Rick Jackson also interviewed NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, but I am sure that she still lives in Massachusetts, because she thoroughly disowns Euclid OH as her birthplace in her bios.  I'll cut Rick Jackson some slack, even if he doesn't live in Cleveland, because I like him.

PAA need a home?

  I like what I see--beats a parking lot and three crap art benches. 
Does PAA need a home?  --how about merging with Art House (who am I kidding?--take them over--please) to benefit the CITY? We have a new progressive pastor at the Brooklyn United Methodist Church, which was built on a plan similar to Pilgrim Church in Tremont.  Think of the synergy!  If Denison School gets redesigned/rebuilt than Brooklyn Centre will have a real center with programming radiating from the students. Wow :)

Real Artists

Yesterday--as I painted half of my city barn gable RED (also known as a garage)--I noted to my real artist neighbors that I finally understood the difference between me and them.  They like projects.  And they don't do a half-ass job of completing those projects, which is why we need real artists in the CITY.  Not bullshit artists.

Real community

  Courtwatch for your neighborhood.  Know your neighbors. Speak out against crime and corruption and plain old stupidity.