• November 17, 2005
  • Posted by Marc

Wooster Prison Stories #3

First, a note from Luke:

/>Just a lil feedback on the prison stories and in particular the English one.
The author mentions the police searching his house without a search warrant, but
he has obviously been watching too many cop shows on tv. In the UK they don’t
need a search warrant if you have been arrested and they believe that further
evidence relating to that crime can be found in your home they can automatically
raid your gaff. Ask any graf writer that and most can tell you from experience,
including myself!


i’m from bulgaria…...anyway
here’s the storyOne night i got out like in 11 pm with one friend and i walked
to the center of the town(Sofia) and i did few tags sticks and etc…...and i
got at the National Culture Center…..and i had few sticks…...i got the brush
out and the bottle with the wheatpaste and i put few sticks when 3 cops came
behind me…....2 guys and 1 female…....anyway they asked what are we doing
and i said…....i’m placing some stickers….....and then he asked for IDs(here
the people under 18 are not allowed to walk out after 10 pm without someone over
18 or exactly 18) well i haven’t any id in any of my pockets…...so they asked
us to get all stuff from us on the ground…..and we did it…....my bag was
full of some parts of papper i had some stuff from school like i haven’t cleaned
my bag since 2 years…...the officer said “Damn kid your like a
homless”.......and somewhere in the junk i found my id…........before that at
my friend they found 1 knife…....and at me 1 hit color can of course the
sticks and the wheatpaste and the brush i used to place the sticks…....the
damn female cop was tellin some shit to fuck us up behind the other
2….....before i found the id they were telling us “ooh ur for the station so
our parents can come pay something and fill some pappers”.........but when they
saw all the junk and when i found my id they said “oh no your not for the
station”.......and one of them asked me “For what is that can” and i said “For
nothing” and he said “When i bang you with you’ll see “for nothing”“.........the
on of em got some gloves on him and searched me for more stuff….....at the
whole time they are tellin you that ur going to the station trying to scare
ya…...they thing your smoking weed(here you can get 8 years just for a 1
ciggarete of weed…) or you have any other drugs and they try to make you say


Click href="http://www.arofish.org.uk/arofish/The-Marlboro-Kids/marlborokids">here
and here to read
Arofish’s takes of getting arrested for doing graffiti in Iraq.

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my story:i
was out painting a spot at 3am then walked back to the car, on the way a cop car
drives up and turns around right in front of us, no chance to run or hide or
ditch bags, so we play innocent and co-operate with them in a bid to get away
with it, so we show our bags with paint tins everything in our bags was layoud
out on the footpath,they gave us 2mins while they went and privatly discussed
the situation which was just enough time fo me to make a story and tell my
friend. we say its for my mates house, they go back with us to my car and we had
about 20 more tins in the car, we said that we grabbed our bags and filled them
so people wouldnt see them in the car and try steal them, so we chat for a while
denying we do illegal stuff saying we were walking around looking for bmx riding
spots, they dont buy it and decide to take us to the cop station, we get in and
have seperate interviews one after the other, basically same questions and we
gave the same answers as on the street just for the tape and record. it all
takes about 3hours.

they let us go without charges cause they had
nothing on us, but were ready to hear back from them, about 2days after we get
calls saying we gotta go to the station for fingerprints and pics and to receve
a court notice, my mate was called first and said make the court date as soon as
possiable, 2weeks later we had court. as forst offences we get a fine and no
conviction recorded.


i live in nuremberg, germany. we got
many cops here and at political events often undercover cops. there has been a
law change regarding graffiti and streetart, i will come to that below.

/>the first story i want to tell happened 2 years ago and was about a “no war”
sticker i painted and put up on the balcony of a public building during a peace
demonstration. the police took a photo and someone in civil clothing came over
and showed me his police id. he said i had painted the balcony. it looked like
this, because it was written with marker on a big plain sticker and was in the
third floor of the building. i informed them that it was “only a sticker”, and
he said he is going to check that. he took my details on a piece of paper and
sent someone in the building. later i got over to them and asked if they will
keep my details and what will happen. they said that i will not get any problems
because there was no damage to property. that was years ago, currently in
germany there are new laws established that will declare every redesigning of
property as a damage if it happens against the will of the owner. so propably
there will be more problems with stickers and paste-ups in the future and of
course more ways to sanction graffiti. the other story is about poster-pasting
in germany. a street artist here in germany did put up some posters and after he
finished with a bunch the police followed him and stopped him. his details were
taken and he was taken to the police station. no mugshots or fingerprints, just
a questionning about the content of the posters. they were only art, but the
police tried to establish some politcal content in them. finally he got back his
bucket and brush and nearly all of his posters, the kept one of each motive as
an evidence. and he had to pay a small amount of money because of the offence of
not allowed pasting. as he left the station with his equipment the cops politely
asked him not to use the stuff he got back in the streets….


/>Ok, here is my “prison story,” which is a term we should use very lightly in
my case. At the time (a year ago), I had recently discovered graffiti somehow,
and all I could think about was painting. I had wanted to try a stencil as my
first exploration of this new world. So I made a simple stencil of a robot
waving that was approximately 3 feet tall. I went out while my parents were out,
and I took my dog in case they came home and asked where I was. I went to the
brand new grade school where my younger brother attended and proceeded to stain
the wall with red and white spray paint. I then walked home on the biggest
adrenaline rush I have yet to experience. I was proud of myself haha. Its a long
story, but my mom eventually found out I was the one who did it, and forced me
to have a meeting with the principal of the school. They had flawlessly removed
my friendly little robot and she decided it would be fair for me to do $110
worth of community service at $5 an hour. I did this, but as i worked on this
burden, I was brooding about my next aerosol endeavor. I found a boarded up
building, and checked it out. One the window’s boards were loose enough that I
could pry them open and slide through into a large open white walled room. I
went in the next day and painted a large NEAR straight letter, no stencils any
more, graffiti was my new passion.

I went back to check out my work
later, and was caught by a cop, and I had no way out of it, seeing as I had 4
cans with me. He called in back up, which was excessive, and I was patted down
and placed in the back seat. I was taken to the station, photographed, and
written up. I now learned that the principal of the school I had painted on had
called the cops too, and seeing as I was a “two time loser,” let alone in the
same month, they were pissed. I had to go to court where I was given an
additional 20 hours of community service, enrolled in a Decision Making Skills
class, and payed $200 in fines. After I finished all of this my record was
erased, only to paint again. No arrests yet.


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philadelphia’s night life scene is pretty much beat. after 10
o’clock the city pretty much shuts down with the exception, of course, of the
bars. this is mostly due to the fact that the subway system blows, and shuts
down somewhere around 11 o clock.

around midnight me and a friend
decided to do a wheatpaste on chestnut street on a temporary wall in center
city. cars and people are few and far between at this time, which is either good
or bad because any car that drives by has the potential to be a cop. the
wheatpaste we were trying to do was about 6 feet tall - so it was awkward to
position. midway through pasting it i hear my friend saying my name. i turn
around to be greeted by philadelphia’s finest pulling up to a stop right behind
me. he says nothing, just sits there with his window down. i wonder if i should
just keep on going wondering if he knows what on earth im doing spreading this
mucky shit all over this poster on a construction wall. i decide to (as non
chalantly as i can), place my brush back into my paper bag, pick it up, and walk
in the opposite direction. He backs up and proceeds to tell me to “stop right
there”. by this time i figure we are both fucked, so i put my stuff down and
wait for him to get out of the car. he does, and doesnt say a word. he walks up
to me, crosses his arms, looks at the poster midway pasted, and lets out a long

for some reason, a couple passing by in a car stopped and
parked, got out and stood a few feet away from us to observe.

are you doing here? he asks. i say im putting up a poster. he says you know this
its illegal to do that? the guy bystander interjects with “i thought it was
legal on temporary walls?”, and instantly i play off this with “yeah, i thought
it was legal on temporary walls” the cop says, well i dont know about that. i
try to explain that i only did it on the temporary wall because i knew i would
be making any permanent damage because it would be taken down in a week anyway.
there is silence for a few seconds and the cop asks, did you draw that? i say
yes. he says “well ill tell you what. i just dropped my partner off, and if he
were with me, i would have to bring you guys down to the station for booking.
but i must say it looks slick.” after he said that i knew i was off the hook and
proceeded to have a rather nice conversation about his outlook on graffiti and
street art. seems he did appreciate it, but had to abide by the “quality of
life” crime mentality.

he told me to pack up my stuff and leave, and
now im a lot more careful.