Felony Vandalism Defaces Campus

Felony+Vandalism+Defaces+Campus+

Leah Arzu

THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL: Student Joseph Lara, allegedly the prolific tagger “Boris,” has been charged with felony vandalism.

Alex Gonzalez, El Vaquero Staff Writer

Desks, bathroom stalls and mirrors — some people may not see tagging as a serious crime, but for students who are caught vandalizing campus property, the consequences won’t be pretty.

As reported in a recent Glendale News-Press article, GCC student Joseph Lara was arrested and in court pled not guilty to 31 tagging incidents.

The 19-year-old San Gabriel resident is allegedly responsible for writing “Boris” on school property, such as air conditioner units and in bathroom stalls.

Lara was charged with one felony count of vandalism.

“There is no place for vandalism on our campus,” said Glendale College Police Chief Gary Montecuollo. “We have a zero tolerance approach towards vandalism… If we identify you, we will prosecute you.”

A campus police cadet noticed the “Boris” tagging on Lara’s notebook. The cadet relayed the information to campus police, who later led to his arrest and search through his house.

From reports, the “Boris” graffiti has been documented since October and has not ended until April 19 this year, bringing the total damage to an estimated $2,235.

According to student conduct policy at Glendale, if a student violates the rules, including committing vandalism, they are subject to disciplinary actions. To expel a student, the college president must present the action to the board of trustees, which makes the final decision.

Lara’s enrollment status is still under investigation.

Daniel Padilla, manager of facilities at Glendale College says, “he is frustrated” because when vandalised property is replaced with new property, right away the new property

is damaged with tagging.

“It’s expensive, time consuming and it’s ongoing. If it happened once and then stopped, then it would be great,” said Padilla. “I got people that wait to see the new walls repaired or the new things fixed and come right back in and in less than two hours they do the same damage.”

Padilla agrees with Montecuollo that tagging and vandalism does not need to be on campus. Padilla “said he respects art” art, but does not like it on wall or mirrors.

“I think it’s destructive,” said Padilla. “I think that it does not belong on campus. I would love it if students would be more possessive to their campus so that when they see things or find out about things like this, then they would report it.”

Montecuollo said that “vandalism is something that ultimately has a very negative impact on our campus.”

AS police chief, Montecuollo believes that a beautiful campus helps students succeed and he says that tagging takes that away.

“I don’t think anyone should vandalize anybody’s property, including on our campus,” said Montecuollo “There’s no place for it at all.”

The Glendale College police suggest that if there is vandalism taking place on school property, students should call (818) 240-1000, ext. 5205.