1998-01-26 Defacing Hated Barricades - NY Post

MIDNIGHT MARAUDER NABBED; DEFACING HATED BARRICADES

FRANKIE EDOZIEN and DAREH GREGORIAN

Posted: 12:00 AM, January 26, 1998

A disgruntled pedestrian was busted in Midtown last night for defacing signs for the city's new much-maligned pedestrian barricades with neon-yellow paint, police said.

William Brown, 38, was caught yellow-handed by a beat cop on patrol at 50th Street and Madison Avenue, who witnessed him spray painting "the barricades suck" on one side of the no-crossing sign and "go" on the other, officials said.

Brown allegedly scrawled the same message on the sidewalk, and cops believe he did the same thing to another sign on 50th and 5th.

Officer Matthew Harrington arrested him, yellow paint in hand, and took him to the W. 54th Street station house, police said. Charges were pending.

Cops are investigating whether Brown, of W. 127th Street, is responsible for other similar graffitti that has plagued the signs since the barricades went up unexpectedly on Dec. 23, much to the chagrin of Christmas shoppers.

Despite pedestrians' outrage over the metal barriers, which were installed along congested 49th and 50th Streets between Lexington and Sixth Avenues as an experiment, Mayor Giuliani and Police Commissioner Howard Safir have said they're here to stay.

Extra cops have been assigned to patrol the barriers, but the recent graffitti attacks have all happened at night, most after midnight, when pedestrians are legally allowed to ignore the signs.