Graffiti ‘artist’ sentenced

Published 11:38am Wednesday, March 6, 2013

One of the two men who allegedly painted graffiti around the city in April 2012 has pleaded guilty and was sentenced Monday.

Zachary Joseph Karels, 24, of Fergus Falls, pleaded guilty in Otter Tail County District Court to one count of third degree damage to property, a gross misdemeanor. District Judge Waldemar Senyk sentenced him to 180 days in jail, with 170 days stayed for two years. He also must pay a $900 fine and $297.90 in restitution.

Karels was charged in August 2012 after allegedly spray painting numerous buildings and objects around Fergus Falls with the words “VERB” and “TZC.” Samuel Harrison Busko, of Fergus Falls, was also charged in the case.

According to the criminal complaint, Karels and Busko were found by police April 17, 2012 after a report of graffiti spraying at Broken Down Dam. Officers saw Karels painting near the base of the dam, the report says. Karels reportedly admitted to police that he was painting letters on the dam and outlining the painting in red. The damage at the dam exceeded $5,000, the report says. Other graffiti locations around town listed in the complaint include the River Walk, City Bakery, Union Plaza building and more.

  • Jake Krohn

    I think the scare quotes are an unnecessary piece of editorializing for what is otherwise a pretty standard piece of reportage. Did the Journal suddenly turn into a 70-year-old man?

  • Frizzel

    Artist should be replaced with Vandal. Graffiti art can be really cool but doing it to random buildings and broken landmars w/out obtaining permission is still vandalism. Do they send these guys out to clean their “art” off the buildings or does the city have to contract this out?

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