SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Even the cover of night wasn't enough to prevent the takedown of one of San Francisco's more prolific taggers as of late.
On Tuesday around 2:52 a.m. San Francisco police were dispatched to the 600 block of Jackson Street regarding a vandalism call. According to police, they nabbed a man described as a 27-year-old transient, Tyler Ross.
Ross was caught in the act, so to speak, in the North Beach neighborhood after officers spotted a man wearing a bright orange construction vest and a dark shirt on Grant Avenue and Jackson. He matched the description dispatch gave.
Ross had several cans of spray paint in his possession when an officer walked around the corner and spotted a fresh tag in the image of Bart Simpson, animated TV's perpetual wild child. The cans matched both the image and the paint on Ross' hands. He also had paint markers, white-out pens and a Bart Simpson keychain.
The tags have been spotted throughout the city; on bus shelters, garage doors, on the mesh coverings to several chain-link fences at numerable construction projects currently underway. Pedestrians may be more familiar with Ross' suspected work. This writer had even snapped a photo of the tagger's work back in November 2017 (if Google's photo app serves me right) on an abandoned newspaper box in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood.
Based on evidence and witness statements obtained during the investigation, police say Ross was
arrested and booked at San Francisco County Jail on felony and misdemeanor counts of
vandalism at San Francisco county jail.
There are some motifs in the tags; many include the number 4 on 'Bart's' forehead and sometimes a spider web graces the right side of his skull. Though nuanced, the mouth is a bit more squiggly than the Matt Groening (Simpson's creator) drawing that we've all come to know and love.
90's Simpson's Trivia buffs might remind you, and will probably do so in that overly-smug comic book shop character's voice from the show, that coincidentally 'El Barto' is Bart Simpson's graffiti-tagging alter-ego. Simpson's Wiki says the long-running joke is that 'El Barto' has never been unveiled, despite some obvious clues.
Unfortunately Ross has not had the same luck in San Francisco.
And yes, '90s Simpson's trivia is a thing at the popular Outer Mission Bar, The Knockout. It's held once a month.
DOH! “Bart Simpson” tagger Tyler Ross busted by @SFPDCentral. Cops caught him w/paint on hands, spray paint, white-out pens - and Bart Simpson keychain, per @SFPD. Now he is wearing an orange shirt like Bart. pic.twitter.com/RUsQVqmoPa— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) March 31, 2018