Say goodbye to Revok for awhile. he was arrested last thursday.
INDIO, Calif. -- A 31-year-old Los Angeles man suspected of leaving his mark -- "Revok'' -- around the Coachella Valley during the last three
Coachella Music and Arts Festivals has been arrested at his house and is facing a vandalism charge.
The alleged tagger's habit of promoting himself on Web sites like YouTube helped investigators track him down, an Indio police spokesman said Sunday.
Jason "Revok'' Williams was arrested in Los Angeles Thursday morning, and booked on suspicion of vandalism in connection with tagging incidents over the past three years, incidents coinciding with the popular Coachella Festival.
Police had been searching for Williams since April 25, when a new round of tags were spotted, and they were able to get fingerprints and track Williams down through the Internet, said Indio police spokesman Ben Guitron.
"He kept showing up at the Coachella Fest and he kept tagging parts of our city,'' Guitron said. "No matter what you call it, it's defacing public and private property.''
Williams apparently had corporate sponsors who backed his efforts as cutting-edge artistic expression, Guitron said.
"He's considered to have great talent, but out here it's not accepted,'' Guitron said. "It's a lifestyle where they love to promote themselves. We saw some things on YouTube and other places. We were able to identify him that way.''
Guitron said other agencies are following up on the identification of "Revok'' and other tag identities Williams allegedly used. More charges in other jurisdictions may be forthcoming, Guitron said.
"Revok" is a prolific graffiti artist who also has a heavy presence on YouTube (see video below). As it turns out, the two might not go so well together. As KNBC reported here, Indio police arrested Jason Williams in Los Angeles last week on vandalism charges after they traced fingerprints from various tags and street art back to the L.A-based Williams. Most of the tagging in question apparently took place during the Coachella music festival.
Revok is not a small-timer. He appears in a number of online videos about graffiti, including at least one where he spraypaints a wall himself -- and others where he is interviewed and profiled as a well-known Southland graffiti artist. In this video interview, Revok says, "More than half my life now has been spent doing graffiti. I've gone to jail I don't know how many times, had people trying to kill me. There's really no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for that."
The graffiti in many of the YouTube videos is ornate and expertly rendered. Revok is clearly a talented artist. But ...
"No matter what you call it," an Indio police spokesman told KNBC, "it's defacing public and private property.''
For repeat offenders, felony vandalism (for damage greater than $400) is punishable by a jail term of up to one year, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. Not what you would call a pot of gold.