Thursday, November 11, 2021

Rangers catch man who defaced Catskills lean-to

lean-to graffiti
Graffiti Arrest:
 On Nov. 2, DEC Central Dispatch received a call about a social media post showing graffiti on a lean-to on State lands at Hunter Mountain. Rangers Fox and Dawson began an investigation with DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI). On Nov. 4, Lt. Pachan and Ranger Dawson received information that the suspect was currently at the John Robb lean-to attempting to clean up the graffiti. Rangers Fox and Dawson responded to the scene and notified BECI investigators. Rangers learned that the subject drove up the mountain on Hunter ski resort roads and got stuck in a snowbank at the top of the Kaatskill Flyer chairlift. Ski resort staff and Ranger Dawson freed the vehicle from the snowbank, and the Officers escorted the subject down to the ski lodge where they met responding BECI investigators. The 39-year-old Brooklyn man was arrested and transported to the New York State Police (NYSP) barracks in Hunter. He was charged with a Class A misdemeanor for making graffiti and violations for defacing rock and natural materials on state land and defacing a DEC structure. The suspect is due back in court on Dec. 15.

lean-to cleanup

John Robb lean-to graffiti cleaned up by Rangers

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.


18 Responses

  1. JDash says:

    Give him the chair!!

  2. Shane M Sloan says:

    Strange. Just enough demographic to allow for a likely correct assumption on how this happened. Before any of the imbeciles start howling racism, get a grip. There are plenty of white people who love to spray paint property that isn’t theirs. If you defend this criminal, you have no love for the Adirondack park or nature in general. Keep the culture where the people who support the culture appreciate the culture.

  3. nathan says:

    1,000 hours of public service ~cleaning grafitti and trash in state parks sounds appropriate!

  4. Duke says:


    • Dana says:

      Spring trailwork without the benefit of insecticide.

      • Terry Hynes says:

        People should start installing hidden security cameras in Lean-Tos, Cabins, even Fire Towers to catch people in the act, and prevent any future incidents. These are more than just buildings, they are a part of history. And if we don’t take care of that history, then it’ll one day end up being history.

  5. Duke says:

    Nice job of clean up Rangers!
    Love that Lean To

  6. Sandy says:

    If you wouldn’t deface anything in the Adirondacks while a Steward or Ranger was present then I think the logical conclusion is you shouldn’t be doing it.

  7. Kevin E Whitcombe says:

    Well its rainbow colored, so no charges applied……

  8. Bill Ott says:

    Graffiti artists are hard to catch. Here in Lakewood, Ohio, graffiti was quite a problem until the artists were caught preparing to decorate our high school restrooms. I do not remember what their punishment was, but I don’t read much about graffiti since then. I would suspect that the John Robb criminals were not carrying-out their first defacement. The work looks too god for rank beginners.

    If I were Paul Simon, I would probably write some lyrics about the rangers et al who not only apprehended the criminals, but also cleaned up their work. Where else does one find that kind of dedication?

    I zoomed into the photos but could not read any words or messages that displayed some popular cause that might ameliorate their misdoing, but I could not say there was not one. Graffiti is a Class A misdemeanor in New York, the most serious misdemeanor. Felonies come next. I wonder how much it will cost to expunge this crime from their permanent records. I wonder if the Brooklyn authorities are apprised.

    Bill Ott
    Lakewood, Ohio

    • Boreas says:


      The way I read the account, the alleged “artist” was apprehended while trying to clean up or alter his work. Perhaps he was just updating his wording.

  9. Sam says:

    The “Graffiti Arrest” SHould pay for all DEC operating costs for that entire week for the whole dept, plus the rescue and clean up costs, as well as any additional legal, court & opperating costs incurred by the DEC for dealing with this putz. Then 60 days in jail for being an ignorant douchebag.

  10. John Sasso says:

    The ire I have for the individual who did this, a MATURE 34-yo, is indescribable. I’ve been doing trail work and other service work in the Adirondacks, including lean-to “rescues” and building, for ten years now. Unfortunately, I’ve seen instances of vandalism in wilderness areas.

    First, any vandalism like this is NOT due to lack of insight into Leave No Trace (LNT) ethics. Those who’ve at least reached adulthood should realize it is wrong to damage property in any way, no matter where.

    Second, this SOB should be made to pay not just the fine, but, as Sam noted, “all DEC operating costs for that entire week for the whole dept, plus the rescue and clean up costs, as well as any additional legal, court & opperating costs incurred by the DEC”

    Third, in a post, the SOB faked regret and said he did not realize what he had done was wrong. I find such logic akin to someone pouring gasoline on an animal, setting it on fire, then saying, “I am sorry. I did not realize what I was doing.” These people have some grave, emotional disconnect with the norms of civilized society

    • Bill Ott says:

      It is too bad he did not paint a self portrait on the lean-to. Then I would not have had to ask where can I see his mug shot.

  11. Curlymoe says:

    Miscreant was due in court 12/15. Does anyone know the outcome? DEC?

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