An ambitious graffiti artist was arrested Thursday afternoon after allegedly hiding in a Greenpoint water tower for at least 12 hours, police said.
A neighbor called the 94th Precinct just after 8 am on Aug. 26, said Captain Wilson Aramboles of the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit, reporting a man spray-painting a water tower near 67 West St.
When cops arrived and asked the vandal to come down from the tower, he instead ducked inside, Aramboles said at a press conference. As police were assessing the safety of climbing the water tower to get the suspect out, he emerged, and they were able to communicate with him using a drone.
NYPD has American Playground and the bottom of Noble and West Sts in Greenpoint all blocked off bcz they think they have a graffiti artist cornered up inside the water tower here since last night, per an officer on the scene. There’s an unfinished piece of graffiti at the top. pic.twitter.com/kcVvDLm2It
— Christopher Werth (@c_werth) August 26, 2021
The man agreed to descend, police said, and the emergency unit set up safety equipment around the base of the water tower before guiding him down verbally.
Once on the ground, the man received medical attention, then was arrested and brought to a nearby hospital for observation.
Police declined to answer a question from WNYC reporter Christopher Werth about whether the stakeout was an efficient use of police resources.
“A lot of the residents I’ve spoken to have characterized this as a very disproportionate response to one graffiti artist,” Werth said at the press conference. “I wonder if you could respond to that.”
An off-camera NYPD officer said, “We’re not going to respond to that.”
“This was a safe resolution to an incident that could have had a much more direct outcome,” Aramboles said. “I want to thank all officers who responded, as well as officers of the office of the emergency management for their incredible effort.”