Graffiti artist "tagging" neighborhood arrested

Graffiti artist "tagging" neighborhood arrested

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by TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on June 16, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 16 at 6:19 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A graffiti tagger has been charged with damaging property in Plaza Midwood.

Neighbors and business owners say they are glad Joseph Edward Dobson was caught because the taggings have been going on for months.

Police believe Dobson is responsible for at least four instances of his signature "OBSO", "OBSOE", or "OBSOE LODUS" spray paint markings.

However, there are more in the area. We found them on walls, dumpsters, on a storage truck and painted on a men’s restroom mirror.

Neighbors say strongly supporting art is one thing, but damaging property is another.

"If you are going to do something, at least make it be something to beautify the community instead of just messing it up," said House of Africa volunteer Aker El Bey.

Police say Dobson is responsible for a tagging at the newly opened and popular Diamond Restaurant.

"I wouldn't say it's not art, I would just say it's not a canvass for that person," said restaurant manager Chris Burns.
"It's not good. If it was done with permission and done tastefully, then we'd be a lot quicker to support it, but this is just something we have to paint over," said Burns.

You'll find the same marking on The Penguin restaurant's dumpster a half block away.

We walked around the area and found several more near Commonwealth Avenue and Thomas Street.

The House of Africa's storage truck is tagged by an OBSO as well.

"It's all art, but it's the way you can display it so it's not defiling anyone else's property," El Bey said.

That's what police say Dobson was doing and why he's charged with misdemeanor injury to property.

Neighbors say a tagging on the back of a bar at the back stairwell has already been painted over.

El Bey is a painter and knows what it takes to clean this up: Money and time businesses hope they don't have to spend.

"That's something that will probably take a day to redo it," El Bey said.

 

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