Louisville man accused of defacing van in Highlands - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville man accused of defacing van in Highlands

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Jonathan Brown (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections) Jonathan Brown (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville man has been charged months after police say he spray painted a large mural on the side of a van belonging to a business in the Highlands.

In August, WDRB News told you about the incident at Highland Hardwood and Flooring. Police say that sometime between Aug. 16 and Aug. 21, someone spray painted graffiti on the side of the van, which was parked at the company's location near the corner of Baxter Avenue and Broadway.

Click HERE to read our original story about the incident.

"I was just shocked with the enormity of it," said Richard Berger, owner of the business, back in August. "This is not a small situation. This is a big situation."

The graffiti name "2BUK" can be seen throughout the city. It sometimes has slight alterations to the spelling. It is even spotted at daring heights above heavy traffic on Interstate 71.

"It's kind of outrageous in the end," said Dan Zink, a property owner, who also spoke with us back in August. "You kind of wonder: have they nothing better to do? Why don't they go to an art school and use their skills where they might be able to use them, as opposed to destroying people's property?"

Zink had seen graffiti on his property before, but nothing like this. He says his surveillance cameras usually keep vandals at bay.

"We can pick up anything that goes on within 20, 30, 40 or 50 feet of the building," he added.

And their persistence paid off, according to police. On Thursday, 24-year-old Jonathan Brown, of Louisville, was charged with first degree criminal mischief. Police say Brown may be responsible for other "tagging" cases.

According to a criminal complaint summons, Brown "has similar cases pending that have the same moniker that is painted on the van (these other incidents were captured on video surveillance.) Several witnesses have also identified [Brown] through the painting...that was shown on the news."

Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies served Brown with the summons on Jan. 10. It's not the first time he's been in trouble with the law. In Sept. 2010, WDRB News reported police allegations that Brown and an accomplice had to be rescued from a ledge after attempting to break into the Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) building in the 1200 block of S. 7th St. He was charged with burglary and fleeing and evading police in connection with that incident.

Click HERE to read that story.

Police say "tags" like the ones Brown allegedly painted are typically not gang-related. The goal is to get the word or design on as many surfaces as possible.

Even Councilman David Tandy weighed in on the issue last year. He said the best way to deter such incidents is to get rid of tags quickly when they appear.

"The sooner that you can get graffiti down, the less likely you are to have it reoccur in your area, because then people who are vandalizing in this way recognize that it won't be tolerated," said Tandy, of District 4.

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