Is the man behind "brrr" behind bars? - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Is the man behind "brrr" behind bars?

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Philip G. Rodriguez (source: LMDC) is accused of stealing 19 shirts he said featured a copyrighted graffiti image that belonged to him. Police say Rodriguez has admitted to "tagging" hundreds of businesses city-wide. Philip G. Rodriguez (source: LMDC) is accused of stealing 19 shirts he said featured a copyrighted graffiti image that belonged to him. Police say Rodriguez has admitted to "tagging" hundreds of businesses city-wide.
Rodriguez claims he is the graffiti artist behind the infamous "BRRR" tags scattered throughout Louisville. Rodriguez claims he is the graffiti artist behind the infamous "BRRR" tags scattered throughout Louisville.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- From walls to table tops to dumpsters and doors, it's an image that can be found just about anywhere in Louisville.

You've probably noticed the phrase "brrr" along with a bug-eyed character painted on buildings, trash cans and alley ways.

It's believed the artist behind the street art has been arrested, but not for his illegal street art.

"I see them everywhere too," said Louisville resident Andrew Smith. "It's not in just a certain part of town. It's literally everywhere such as right here."

Trying to find out who's behind the "brrr" tag has become a game among locals.

#whoisbrrr is a constant trending topic online.

But now it's believed the man behind "brrr" is behind bars.

Philip Rodriguez,25, was arrested Wednesday in connection with an alleged assault and robbery at the Regalo gift shop on S. 4th Street in Louisville.

According to the arrest warrant, the owner of Regalo was upset when he discovered the "brrr" tag on the outside of his store.

After removing the tag, he created shirts with the design and started selling them.

When Rodriguez found out, police say he entered the store and grabbed 19 of the shirts, telling the owner he had no right to sell his copyrighted image.

An arrest report says Rodriguez shoved the owner and knocked over a store display on his way out.

Damon Thompson, a Louisville artist, says he can relate with Rodriguez.

"I was immediately on brrrs side when I heard the story. Mainly because a very similar thing has happened to me," Thompson told WDRB.

Thompson says about six years ago, he came up with a t-shirt design that was used without permission by the same store.

"My first reaction was to go in there and yell at them but I thought, you know, that's not going to solve anything. Without asking me, without asking where'd that idea come from, they just printed off their own shirts so they could fill their shelves and fill their pockets," he said.

Dan Fitzgerald owns Mag Bar in Old Louisville. That's where WDRB found the "brrr" tag on the outside and inside of his business.

"In some places I'll let it go like if it's in the back room or bathroom but if it's in a highly visible place, especially on woodwork we've just done, it's something we have to take care of and spend a lot of time and money removing it," Fitzgerald told WDRB.

Some believe now that the law has gotten involved, "brrr" may never be the same.

"The myth is gone and that's unfortunate. Everyone had a fun time wondering who "brrr" was. It's a little disappointing to all of us to know who it is now," said Thompson.

WDRB reached out to Regalo. They declined an on camera interview but said they feel victimized and don't feel they've done anything wrong.

It's unclear if the image is in fact copyrighted.

Rodriguez remains in jail on a $5,000 bond.

He faces charges of robbery and criminal mischief.

Copyright 2013 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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