Bellingham graffiti tagger to repay $5,100

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDAugust 22, 2013 

BELLINGHAM - A teenager caught with GoPro video footage of himself spraying graffiti on buildings around Bellingham must pay a $5,100 bill to remove the tags.

Alexander Large, 19, pleaded guilty Thursday, Aug. 22, to malicious mischief in the third degree. He must serve two months of jail alternatives; another 304 days of jail time were suspended.

Over the course of months, police documented 19 tags written in a similar script - each one a variation of "atrophy" or "BUC" - on private businesses and property belonging to the city of Bellingham. An early estimate pinned the damage at more than $7,300.

Eventually, another graffiti artist confirmed officers' suspicions that Large was behind the tags.

So police got a warrant to search Large's apartment on Lakeway Drive. They recovered spray paint, slap tags (homemade stickers for quick tagging), sketches of graffiti art and video from a GoPro camera. The footage showed him spraying buildings on Little Squalicum Beach.

Police arrested Large in February. He spent a night in jail before getting released on the condition that he show up for future court dates.

He declined to speak at his sentencing hearing Thursday before Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Ira Uhrig. His public defender, Angela Anderson, pointed out he has no criminal history.

"I don't think I'll ever see Mr. Large again, unless he's in the clerk's office paying his restitution," Anderson said.

In his plea bargain, Large agreed to repay $5,118.71. Prosecutors could hold another hearing seeking more cash. And he's not allowed to enter any of the businesses he tagged.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or caleb.hutton@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Dispatcher Blog at bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher-blog or follow him on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

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