Streams

Queens Court Charges Graffiti Tagger 'ZEB'

Friday, November 05, 2010

Zebadiah Arrington, 19, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday for spray painting his tag, "ZEB," onto seven New York City subway cars. Arrington is allegedly part of the CMW (Chicago's Most Wanted) graffiti crew, and he was caught when sending photos of the cars he had spray painted to friends over e-mail.

Arrington was charged with second and third degree criminal mischief, making graffiti and third degree criminal trespass. His court date is November 8. If convicted, Arrington faces up to seven years in prison.

The arrest comes in the wake of a massive underground street art exhibit unveiled last weekend. The show, "Underground Project" was 18 months in the making.

Check out a slideshow of ZEB graffiti below. While you're at it, please leave us a comment below telling us what you think about graffiti - does it enhance or harm your neighborhood? And we're dying to know where the Underground Project lies. If you've got a lead, please post it in a comment below!

ZEB photographed in 2006 in Seattle
Holy Outlaw/flickr
ZEB photographed in 2006 in Seattle
ZEB was here
caffeina/flickr
ZEB was here
A NYKE and a ZEB tag in Chicago, Illinois
it's tea
A NYKE and a ZEB tag in Chicago, Illinois
ZEB strikes again
smohundro
ZEB strikes again
ZEB in Georgetown, Seattle
Slightlynorth
ZEB in Georgetown, Seattle
AIC, ZEB, VOLT and REYOS in Chicago
it's tea/flickr
AIC, ZEB, VOLT and REYOS in Chicago
Parskid, Aerub and ZEB and a newspaper box row
liquidnight/flickr
Parskid, Aerub and ZEB and a newspaper box row

Tags:

More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [10]

Joey1978

I know this is a few months old, but Abbie you totally sidestepped JimMy's comment.
There are a lot of people who write graffiti and only twenty-six letters and nine digits--there is a lot of repetition with regard to names. With the information of his crew, along with the city he is from, you could have easily narrowed your search for images. Lazy reporting.

Jan. 18 2011 08:54 PM
mo from scotch plains

truthfully graffiti is a form of art what ever happened to peoples freedom of expression like if graffiti is a crime then maybe all type of art should be a crime. the thing about graffiti has nothing to do with gangs like most of the people around the us thinks i heard some people say and i quote "graffiti artist are all gang members or are affiliated with gangs" which is a complete lie. people only think its bad because we are vandalizing the streets. But to keep it funky with all you people who dont do graffiti, graffiti is just a way for us artists to let out our emotions. the problem isnt graffiti. the problem is the government needs to sit down and take their fingers out their asses and propose answers like it would be a good idea for the government to open up some art schools for graffiti artists.

Nov. 08 2010 10:28 AM
John

"I do feel that part of the punishment should be the tagging of *his* property, and at times, his body. He doesn't care, so why should we?"

These kind of comments that flood similar stories to this one are more ignorant than any kind of vandalism. You have absolutely no proof whatsoever that he ever tagged a house or private property. For all you know he only painted a subway car as stated in his court documents. So his punishment should be to vandalize his things and his person? Are you serious? Wouldn't community service cleaning up similar graffiti be more fitting? I have a hard time believing anyone who would say they haven't committed crimes worse than graffiti. Alot of adults drink and drive regularly, putting themselves and far worse - everyone else - in danger. Are you that threatened by someone painting, no matter what it is, that you feel it's right for a 19 year old to serve up to 7 years for a non-violent crime?

Nov. 07 2010 03:47 PM

Thanks, all, for your comments!

Jimmy, since the attribution of graffiti and street art is difficult to track down, we posted all the photos we could find in the public domain with the "ZEB" tag. If you'd like to let us in on which tags are Arrington's own, we'd love your expertise. Just post here or email culture@wnyc.org. Thanks!

Nov. 07 2010 10:23 AM
anonymous

FREE ZEB! Chicagos clean car king.

Nov. 07 2010 07:49 AM
NAHNAH

LONG LIVE KING ZEB!!!!! KING KING KING KING FOR ALL YALL FOOLS WHO DONT KNOW IT K-I-N-G

Nov. 06 2010 06:29 PM
oh wow

This kid is real toy, any one see his photo in the paper? he looks like crack head missing alll his teeth.

Nov. 06 2010 11:55 AM
derold

i like it on trains. it gives me something to look at while waiting at a stop. its like watching a movie. now u see it now u dont. but the stuff that is on buildings is repulsive, i f I owned a building and someone tagged it without my permission i would be angry ds

Nov. 06 2010 11:39 AM
Doug from NYC

Street art is different from graffiti in the modern term of the word. Where the former is paid by a building owner, a civic group, community board, or project set up by the local gov (see Philadelphia's giant murals), graffiti is a means to claim things (usually property) that is not yours. To tag a subway car is to be able to have your tag travel miles and miles so others see it and in the graffiti-taggers mind think to themselves (ooh so and so got the car, better not mess with him). Additionally tagging is used often by street gangs to delineate territory, what actions take place, and where certain hideouts, drug holds, etc are. Tagging was done even in the 60's in Washington DC to mark when drops were made to Russian Spies near the Russian Embassy. They have a mailbox with such in the Spy museum there.

Graffiti has no valid means, has no valid social benefit, and the so-called artists are at best petty vandals and at worst major drug lords and killers. No, graffiti should not be allowed, and I'm glad they caught this kid. Also glad he's old enough to understand his actions and be tried as an adult.

I do feel that part of the punishment should be the tagging of *his* property, and at times, his body. He doesn't care, so why should we?

Nov. 06 2010 11:36 AM
JimMy

Most of the photos you have chosen to show are not the Zeb that is in question. He has, to my knowledge, never even been to Seattle. Get your info correct before you mess with someones reputation and possible freedom. You can even see the styles are drastically different in the photographs you haphazardly This is incredibly weak reporting and you should be embarrasses by your lack of knowledge on the subject. Get it straight or choose a different subject.

Nov. 06 2010 12:44 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.

Sponsored

Feeds

Supported by