Bay Area/ San Francisco
Published on March 16, 2015
Relief For The Castro As Alleged Serial Tagger NabbedPhotos: Sari Staver/Hoodline

Before his arrest on Thursday, the San Francisco “serial tagger” hit dozens of buildings and sidewalks in the Castro.

Now facing 10 felony and 17 misdemeanor counts , Andrew Yarbrough, 18, was arrested in Dolores Park, following a call to 911 by a neighborhood resident. As reported by KTVU, when police arrived, Yarbrough was carrying spray paint and holding up a cell phone to photograph a recently painted tag on a wall near the newly constructed tennis courts.

Yarbrough had tagged the words “cryst” and “sheep” all over the city, but according to reports on the website NextDoor, over 50 were counted between the Upper Market and Dolores Park. 

In response to questions by reporters as he was being moved from the police station to the Hall of Justice, Yarbrough explained that “cryst” refers to crystal meth and “sheep” to “conformist gentrification. “

Among the most visible neighborhood damage was a tag on the awning of For Your Eyes Only Optometry at 552 Castro, between 18th and 19th. Owner Dr. Kathleen Kennedy, O.D., told KTVU that she had to replace the awning at a cost of $3,600. A building at Castro and Market, adjacent to the Jane Warner Plaza was also tagged, and a handful of tags appeared on garage doors near 19th and Eureka, among many others.

On Friday evening, we found Andrew D’Amore cleaning the graffiti off the front of his residence at 3944 18th St. D’Amore said there were “a few” other buildings on the block between Noe and Sanchez that had been hit.

San Francisco spends over $20 million annually in graffiti cleanup. A DWP website advises residents and local businesses, including calling 911 to report graffiti in progress, or calling 311 to report graffiti on public property. Private property owners are stuck dealing with the problem themselves, though DPW does offer tips on graffiti abatement for residents and local businesses.