I don't think I've ever seen a photograph like this: Anne Cusack at the L.A. Times catches a kid tagging a bus that was stopped at an intersection near the Santee Education Complex. The bus was carrying Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAUSD Supt. David Brewer on a media event highlighting a new bus stop meant to improve safety in the area. The photo turned into the story and wound up on the front page of the paper, giving this brazen travieso more free exposure than a tagger could ever dream for:
As word of the incident rippled through the crowd, Villaraigosa asked that the bus be stopped to catch the tagger. Officials soon thought better of the idea, and rather than create a traffic hazard at a busy intersection, pledged to identify and deal with the student today.
Still, the mayor was heard to say that the boy should do "a lot of community service" after being caught. Officials didn't seem to see any irony or humor in the timing of the brazen vandalism. "It's a cry out for help," said Vince Carbino, Santee's principal.
Whoever that kid is, and no matter how much community service they give him, I bet he's real, real proud of himself.
** WEDNESDAY UPDATE: L.A. Times follow-up says the tagger is 15 and writes ZONER. It quotes another student at the end who mentions that other kids where "glorifying" ZONER: "They were saying, 'that's my homie, that's my homie.' "