NORTH CANTON, OH (WOIO) - A vandal spray painting several businesses in North Canton was caught red-handed by a police officer on Tuesday night. Now local business owners are left cleaning up the damage.
We counted seven spots the vandal tagged in at a shopping plaza off Whipple Avenue. The vandal left his mark on everything from storefront walls to a large display chair, even a dumpster.
"Guys that are breaking the law as 'artists' should be using their talent some other way," said John Vonspeigel, a customer of one of the businesses.
Around 10 p.m. Tuesday, a Jackson Township police officer caught 24-year-old Andrew Michael Deger, of Barberton, spray painting the side of a building in North Canton. Police say the officer asked him to stop and Deger ran away, throwing the paint and his glove in between several vehicles in the parking lot.
Police say Deger resisted arrest and when they brought him back to the police station, he disconnected computers and phones, pretending to have a seizure.
"Someone has to pay for this stuff to clean it up. And shame on them. They should be caught and punished for what they're doing here," Vonspeigel said.
Patrons say it's disrespectful.
"I think it's immature and childish and like he said, somebody's gotta pay to clean that up," said Bob Kautz.
Police say Deger's graffiti left more than $1,000 in damage.
Art may be in the eye of the beholder, but patrons we spoke with say this graffiti crosses the line.
"In New York or London, where they take the time to make the pieces special with meaning to them, that actually increases the value of the buildings. As opposed to decreasing it by just tagging it with spray paint," said Melissa Codispoti.
Deger faces charges of vandalism, possessing criminal tools, tampering with evidence, resisting arrest and obstructing official business. He will be back in court on Friday.
If you've seen similar vandalism in the area recently, call Jackson Township Police at (330) 834-3960 to report it.