Man believed to be graffiti tagger in YouTube video is charged
Cyrus Yazdani, 24, a professional graphic artist known on the street as 'Buket,' is charged with 32 counts of felony vandalism after what authorities call a yearlong spree.
By Andrew Blankstein
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
May 29, 2008
A man described as one of Los Angeles' most prolific taggers, whose daredevil antics were featured on YouTube, was charged today with 32 counts of felony vandalism. The charges come after what authorities called a yearlong graffiti spree that caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage.
Cyrus Yazdani, 24, a professional graphic artist known on the street as "Buket," faces a maximum sentence of 10 to 14 years in state prison if convicted of all counts, authorities said. Yazdani, who was arrested Tuesday, was on probation for a 2007 felony vandalism conviction.
His "Buket" moniker has been splashed across hundreds of area freeway overpasses, concrete walls and transit buses, authorities said. He was also known as a "bomber," a tagger who favors big, bold letters that can be seen from long distances.
Yazdani is unusual in the graffiti world, said Sheriff's Deputy Devin Vanderlaan, not only because he is a college graduate and worked as convention planner in Las Vegas but also because of his "in-your-face" style that ostensibly dared authorities to come after him.
"Buket" became an Internet sensation because of a video, posted on YouTube and numerous tagger-related blogs, that shows him applying his tag to a Hollywood Freeway overpass as traffic speeds by below.
Another daylight attack, also posted on the Net, appears to show "Buket" applying his moniker to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus amid surprised onlookers.
Still, authorities say, it's unclear whether a conviction would result in significant jail time.
This year a prolific tagger, Gustavo Romero, was sentenced to a year in jail for etching his "Guser" moniker on dozens of Metro buses. Romero, of South Los Angeles, caused at least $108,000 in damage to property over a two-year period. He pleaded guilty to 49 felony charges.