A local alderman is stepping up to offer his 2 cents in the case of three accused taggers who were recently arrested in nearby Wicker Park.
The trio of men—ages 25, 39 and 31—were reportedly caught at 2:30 a.m. Dec. 30 spray-painting the storefront of Covo Gyro, 1482 N. Milwaukee Ave. Although one of the restaurant's owners says she doesn't plan to press charges, the men are facing one count each of criminal defacement of property.
"We actually left it on our window," said Danae Maglaris, who co-owns the restaurant with her brother. "We have graffiti on our wallpaper and in our bathrooms. … It's part of our design in our restaurant."
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Maglaris said she's by no means condoning defacement of property, but pressing charges "just isn't necessary right now."
Chicago's 32nd Ward Ald. Scott Waguespack will be attending the suspects' February hearing to touch base with the judge, he said. The ward covers parts of Bucktown, East Village, Goose Island, Hamlin Park, Lake View, Lincoln Park, Pulaski Park, Roscoe Village, the Ukrainian Village and Wicker Park.
Waguespack says he hopes the judge will allow his office to supervise one or more of the accused vandals during local cleanup efforts, according to a recent newsletter.
"Two former taggers that recently completed tagger cleanup supervision via my office spent the summer and fall of 2012 cleaning, scraping and painting hundreds of poles, garbage cans, walls, and anything tagged or able to be cleaned throughout the 32nd Ward."
Because of the volume of tagging in the area and cuts to the city's "graffiti cleanup teams", Waguespack considers the supplemental help a win-win.
His chief of staff, Paul Sajovec, agrees.
"(Waguespack) is really good about personally going down to these hearings," he said. "I think when he is taking the time to actually show up at one, (prosecutors) take special notice of that. … It's not something that happens every week or anything, but it's something he makes a point to do."
The men are due in court on Feb. 5.