February 20, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---Richmond County investigators say they know who's responsible for most of the graffiti in downtown Augusta.
18-year-old Hephzibah High School student Carlos Calderon is out on bond, facing serious charges over his alleged artwork.
He's charged with at least four felonies, and you won't believe how they caught him.
The sheriff's office says there is no doubt in their mind that Calderon is the main culprit in defacing our city.
Picture after picture after picture of graffiti painted on Augusta's buildings have been posted on the internet for the world to see.
And it just so happens that other graffiti artists weren't the only ones eyeing Calderon's handiwork.
"We found that the person posting the pictures of downtown was also the same person taking the pictures," said Lt. Tony Walden.
Investigators say Calderon was painting his work on buildings, taking photos, and posting them on the popular graffiti site 12ozProphet. Calderon even wrote that he was trying to get a graffiti culture started in Augusta and invited Atlanta writers to come and make an appearance.
His artwork included the bubble letters BSEN, which stands for Be Seen, and he would often write KCW below, which stood for Khaos City Writers--the name of the graffiti group he was trying to form here in Augusta.
But not everyone appreciated his artwork.
"We were shocked," said Julia Jackson of Historic Augusta, Inc., after graffiti was discovered painted all over the Woodrow Wilson House on 7th Street.
"It's absolutely heartbreaking. Historic structures should be respected and not defaced."
But investigators say Calderon did just that: painted his tag on a historic building, which is a felony.
Jackson says they immediately cleaned it off and notified police, and now she is happy he will face charges for what he did to a priceless piece of downtown Augusta.
"I was thrilled to hear the news (of his arrest)," she said. "And very surprised by the way he was caught that he would've posted his handiwork online. It doesn't seem like the smart thing to do."
Lt. Walden told News 12 they are confident that Calderon is responsible for much of the downtown graffiti problem...a problem they hope will now be under control.
Since some of the buildings Calderon allegedly tagged are abandoned, the sheriff's office has to track down the owners to see if they want to prosecute.
It looks like they will. One building owner already called back this afternoon to say he wanted Calderon to be charged for his building as well.