Carrboro graffiti artist to perform community service

Mar. 01, 2013 @ 05:47 PM

A man charged with spray-painting graffiti in downtown Carrboro must perform 150 hours of community service.

Bryon William Plotts, 23, of Woody Ridge Road in Snow Camp, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the state on Thursday in Orange County District Court that will require him to perform the community service and remain on unsupervised probation for 18 months. Plotts must also pay $250 in fees.

If Plotts completes the community service, stays out of trouble and meets all of the other conditions of his probation for 18 months, the charges against him will be dismissed.

A police officer caught Plotts in the act of spray-painting graffiti on a traffic light control box in downtown Carrboro last September. When the officer examined the box, he saw fresh graffiti that said “Artisfact” or “Art is Fact” in stylized writing. That same graffiti had been painted numerous times on the walls, windows and HVAC systems of bars, restaurants and other businesses in the area of Lloyd, Weaver and East Main streets, especially along the railroad track corridor.

Plotts was initially charged for the graffiti on the traffic light control box, but police later blamed him for other graffiti. In all, Plotts was charged with 24 counts of injury to real property or injury to personal property dating back to July 2011. The cost to clean up the graffiti was estimated at $6,856.

Assistant District Attorney Jason Murphy said the original idea for the community service work was to have Plotts do painting and cleanup work in Carrboro, and Plotts was willing to do it, Murphy said. The plan became complicated when questions arose about liability and costs, so it was decided to let the community service program assign him work, Murphy said.

Plotts will not have to pay restitution because he has no money to pay it, and what little he could pay, after it was distributed to the many businesses he vandalized, each business would have received only a minimal amount, Murphy said.

“You can’t get blood from a turnip,” Murphy said.

Instead, Plotts probationary period was extended beyond the normal period. He will remain on probation for the full 18 months even if he completes his work before that, Murphy said.

Plotts took full responsibility for the 24 instances of graffiti for which he was charged, Murphy said.