Revok, Famed L.A. Graffiti Artist, Arrested at LAX, Held on $320,000 Bail
Updated after the jump: Revok gets 180 days for violating his probation. Read our latest story about how a street artist like Revok can end up with a higher bail amount than some alleged rapists and molesters -- here.
A "free Revok" campaign erupted on Twitter over the weekend after the Fairfax district street artist was nabbed at LAX.
Sheriff's officials said the man born Jason Williams was arrested at LAX last week as he attempted to head to Ireland.
He had allegedly failed to pay restitution to victims whose property he had vandalized, they said. Sheriff's Lt. Vince Carter:
We take graffiti vandalism very seriously. Criminal graffiti vandals who insist on damaging other people's property are going to jail and need to pay to fix the damage they cause.
The 34-year-old was booked at county jail and held on $320,000 bail.
Revok is one of the artists who worked on this piece.
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Ironically (or not) his own work was vandalized, sort of, when graffiti clean-up crews mistakenly began to paint over it earlier this month.
They said neighbors complained about the piece that Revok, Saber Retna Os Gemos, Rime and Norm had painted with the owner's permission on a wall of Known Gallery on Fairfax near Rosewood Avenue.
The company that made the mistake, Graffiti Control Systems, said it had stripped the whitewash and would pay for restoration.
Revok had received probation for a 2009 case of felony vandalism in Indio, California, home of the Coachella festival. He was also arrested last year near a street art store.
Sheriff's officials allege that this is Revok's work.
All this happens as an unprecedented showing, "Art in the Streets," is ongoing at MOCA downtown.
Update: Sheriff's officials claim in a Monday statement that they found graffiti tied to Revok and that they'll recommend further charges:
As a result of evidence discovered during his April 21 arrest (Thursday), other incidents of vandalism were found in the County of Los Angeles. Some of the damage is adjacent to the Metro Blue Line and can be seen by its' patrons. The additional crimes will be submitted to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office by sheriff's deputies for filing consideration.
They also said Revok is "is well known in the graffiti vandalism culture and is a member of the graffiti crew 'Mad Society Kings' or MSK."
He is one of the artists featured in the MOCA exhibition.
Added: Sheriff's officials say he was arrested based on a warrant because he had allegedly violated the terms of his probation.
According to another sheriff's statement:
Detectives were unaware of his location but discovered he had attended the MOCA Graffiti Exhibit, titled 'Art in the Streets'. Further information led investigators to believe Williams was attempting to leave the country.
Update No. 2: Friends of Revok are raising money for his bail. He has a court hearing today.
We're told that he hasn't done any street-based work in more than a year and was purposefully laying low.
We were also told that on Thursday, the day he was arrested, authorities also apparently served a search warrant on a tattoo shop connected to his MSK crew.
Update No. 3: Sheriff's Lt. Carter tells the Weekly Monday afternoon that deputies were working based on a warrant request last week from the L.A. City Attorney's office. That warrant, ultimately signed by a judge, alleged that Revok hadn't paid restitution, as ordered from a previous case.
"Its our job to fight the graffiti on the transit systems in L.A.," Carter said. "It's an all out war."
Update No. 4: The City Attorney's office tells the Weekly that Revok was ordered to pay $3,764.97 in restitution and has so far forked over, and we quote, "$0.00000."
Update No. 5: Revok got 180 days today behind bars for violating probation, a law enforcement official told us.
First posted at 7:04 a.m. Monday, April 25.
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