Man accused of placing hundreds of graffiti tags in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A man is accused of placing more than 245 graffiti tags throughout Colorado Springs.

See photos of the tags

Police said Kale Odonnell, 25, was arrested Friday on charges of criminal mischief, a class five felony.

Police said between August 2014 and April 2015, Odonnell placed more than 245 graffiti tags in 216 locations throughout the city. Police estimated the total cost to remove all of the graffiti at $16,000.

Police identified Odonnell through posts on sites like Flickr and Instagram, where he shared his work.

Some of his work consisted of blending images of male and female body parts. Nina Lee, co-owner of Craft Bar, found these graffiti stickers in her restaurant bathroom, deck and even drawn on the back of her building.

“It was kind of devastating, especially because it wasn’t that appealing, and it felt like it was kind of malicious the way it was done,” said Lee.

Lee said it got to the point she was worried about her employees’ safety.

“We were tagged more than once by this guy,” said Lee. “In fact, one piece actually said, ‘Leave it alone,’ so it felt like it was very personal for us, and I think justice has been served, and we are really excited about that.”

The officers who investigated the case are part of CSPD’s Graffiti Removal Team. Since its inception in 2007, the team has cleaned up more than 103,000 graffiti tags throughout the city, according to police. The team has two full-time and two part-time employees, and also receives assistance from people completing court-ordered community service hours. Graffiti team members also address other property cleanup and quality-of-life issues throughout the city.

CSPD said Odonnell’s crimes were not gang related. Instead, they are what he considered art.

“Although it is, as they say, ‘in the eye of the beholder,’ it shouldn’t be scrawled on the side of a building that someone has to clean up and spend tax dollars to get rid of,” said Barry Rizk, police officer with the Colorado Springs Police Department. “That’s not art. That’s damage.”

More information from Odonnell’s arrest affidavit

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