Alleged San Francisco graffiti tagger appears in court

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - One of San Francisco's most prolific alleged graffiti taggers is waiting to see if he'll stand trial on 35 counts of vandalism, including 11 felonies.

Andrew Yarbrough is believed to be responsible for the tags "Cryst" and "Sheep" that span the city and have caused more than $50,000 damage to public and private property.

"This really affects people in a serious and severe way," said District Attorney spokesman Alex Bastian. "This is something they have to deal with on a daily basis."

The tags have been seen from Treasure Island to the Avenues.

In a preliminary hearing on Thursday, prosecutor Kathleen McBride presented evidence of the graffiti and Yarbrough's alleged guilt, including a March 12th KTVU report where Yarbrough appears to explain the meaning of his alleged graffiti. "Cryst means crystal meth," Yarbrough can be heard telling KTVU reporter, Amber Lee. "And sheep means conformist gentrification and all that other (expletive)."

A series of police officers and investigators testified in the daylong preliminary hearing that is expected to be completed Friday. They showed evidence taken from Yarbrough's home, including nine cans of spray paint, markers, and a computer containing photos of his alleged vandalism.

"It's costing the taxpayers a lot of money to go out and abate the graffiti time, after time, after time," explained Jimmer Cassiol of San Francisco Public Works. "It seemed like whoever this ‘Chryst’ was, was basically following our crews. As they were cleaning up the walls of graffiti, another tag would go up."

That's why Public Works wants Yarbrough to face felony charges. "We want to make sure a message is sent out," explained Cassiol, "that if you're going to come to San Francisco and you're going to vandalize San Francisco with graffiti, that's not the place you're going to want to do it because you're going to pay for doing it."

Yarbrough's preliminary hearing is expected to wrap up on Friday.