Hey, there! Log in / Register

Chicago man gets year in jail for marking up Green, Red Line trains

A Brighton Municipal Court jury yesterday convicted John Biesiot, 36, of Chicago, on 15 counts of vandalism for incidents in 2008 and 2010 that left several T cars tagged up with nom de paint of Wyse, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Judge David Driscoll sentenced Biesiot to a year and a day in the Suffolk County House of Corrections, and will hold a hearing next month to determine how much Biesiot will have to pay the MBTA for cleaning up after him.

The jury found Biesiot not guilty of tagging up the Blue and Orange Lines, the DA's office reports.

According to the DA's office:

[Special Assistant District Attorney Mychii] Snape presented evidence and testimony to prove that, beginning in 2007, Boston and Transit Police began to see an increase in vandalism attributed to the graffiti crew known as “Dirty 30.” Through an extensive investigation and communication with law enforcement agencies across the country, Biesiot was identified as a member of that group who used the tag name “WYSE.”

On Jan. 12, 2008, MBTA employees at Reservoir Yard in Brookline discovered 12 Green Line trolleys, a retaining wall, and a signal box had all been vandalized with graffiti, including the tag “D-30” in multiple locations. Three months later, on March 16, Biesiot’s tag name was discovered among the graffiti spray painted along one full side of a train at Codman Yard in Dorchester.

On March 15, 2010, an MBTA motorman performing overnight work on a train at Alewife observed two men - one of whom was later identified as Biesiot - spray painting two trains. He remained hidden and called Transit Police. Biesiot and the other man made their escape through an emergency exit prior to the arrival of officers, but the worker was able to identify Biesiot.

The DA's office says Biesiot has been spreading his tag around the country's trains (and on buildings near trains) since at least 1996 - he's been charged with vandalism in Arkansas, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and North Carolina.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

This putz is in his 30s and he's still going around vandalizing public property. Usually I think the "mom's basement" meme gets overdone but I think it's appropriate here.

up
Voting closed 0

On it's face, getting a year in jail for graffiti seems pretty heavy, but after hearing all the damage that this guy has done, he deserves every single minute of his time behind bars.

up
Voting closed 0

who think it's fun to vandalize public property. One year in jail is not nearly enough.

up
Voting closed 0

How many instances of graffiti was he convicted of?

If he was only convicted of the one instance, a year in jail would seem harsh to me.

I despise graffiti and the people who make it, but judicial process and balance is also important.

up
Voting closed 0

By these guys:

/geek humor

up
Voting closed 0

So, over a three year period, these guys were able to get access to our mass transit system yards unhindered until randomly spotted in the act by an employee.

There is your security theater, friends. They will search your backpacks randomly at Davis or Harvard or wherever. But they can't spot and catch trespassers. These guys had total access to dozens of trains in order to leave a timed device instead of graffitti if they'd chosen.

If scaling up costly security measures hasn't kept this from happening, then can we go back to a budget where it happened but we weren't paying millions more to pretend we have a chance at stopping it?

up
Voting closed 0

I was driving to Boston on the Mass Pike this evening and, while crawling in traffic, had lots of time to look at the graffiti on almost every available surface along the tracks of both the Orange Line and Commuter Rail. If you consider that every single one of those tags could have just as easily been a bomb...

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

up
Voting closed 0

Kind of like the juxtaposition at Porter this morning of the two transit cops and their dog shooting the breeze on the platform as the platform swelled with passengers delayed by the disabled train at Charles/MGH.

up
Voting closed 0

The good news he has been caught, the bad news is these train storage yards don't appear to be safe and secure, how bad is the vandalism problem and how many graffiti gangs are there?

up
Voting closed 0

Look at this picture and see how much ground this man has covered, and for how long. He is known across the country. Every one of these instances of graffiti has an adventure story to go along with it. Now think about your own life, typing away on a stupid comment board from your cubicle. This man has lived more of a life, had more experiences, seen more places, affected more lives, and inspired more people than you ever will. And when he serves his time, he'll be absolved of his sins and can cash in on his cache' (ala' Utah and Ether before him). Be jealous.

up
Voting closed 0

Should we be jealous of them as well?

Dude's 36 and he's still spray painting box cars.

up
Voting closed 0

Right, because the only way you can live a fulfilling life is by sticking it to The Man. What exactly does tagger cache bring these days? Whatever it is, I'm skeptical that it's worth a year in jail.

up
Voting closed 0

Where did he say that it was the "only" way?

up
Voting closed 0

Ever hear of urban explorers? They explore abandoned and closed off niches of the world, and don't feel the need to leave large bloopy letters behind.

They take pictures and post them instead. As they aren't stopping to apply colonic colossus consonants to their surroundings, they actually cover a lot more ground.

Illegal and thrill seeking? Sometimes. Destructive? No.

Some such explorations aren't even illegal - take a look at the stuff Chris Rich posts here at UHub, traveling only by rail, bike, and foot.

up
Voting closed 0

People do what they're driven to do. I'm in favor of public art, and in terms of illegal activities that must be cracked down on, well-executed graffiti tagging rates somewhere below jaywalking and putting your garbage cans out on the curb too early in my book.

up
Voting closed 0

I've known biesiot since we were kids. We grew up in Bentonville Arkansas. Maybe you've heard of it. The capitol of capitalism. Its a god damn police state here. Got to protect the precious wal-martians. I am actually kind of envious of my old buddy. He's been all over the world spreading ART, now he,s looking at doing a year. And here I am playing buy the rules, sticking to canvas, and getting pulled over and shook down at least once a month. What is art? What's it worth? John you're a rock star. Cantaloupes always know the time.

up
Voting closed 0

is not spreading "art". He's vandalizing public property. And convicting people when they're caught in acts of vandalisim is called reasonable enforcement of the law, and not a police state.

up
Voting closed 0

I dont understand why everyone is so caught up with his age. Whether you like graffiti or not, it is an art form. Would you expect a poet or musician to stop composing because they got older? And for a website where everyone is always so pro-bike, anti-city council paying themselves more, etc... I'm surprised people are so quick to condemn artists who often (but not always) improve drab and bland public spaces with colors and designs we can all enjoy.

And if you really believe that all of the increased security measures make you safer (or are even deigned to), you need to do some self reflection. Most are surface level fixes with no substance. If we really wanted to improve safety public safety we'd improve the well-being of communities and tackle issues like dramatically increasing income inequality or diminishing purchasing power.

up
Voting closed 0

Banksy and Keith Haring are proof.

Somebody just mindlessly spraying his name on trains, no matter how colorfully, is not practicing art. He is just shouting out an annoying cry for attention.

As somebody who regularly rides a subway line that is currently the "beneficiary" of his kind of work, and as a resident of New York at the height of its graffiti craze back in the day, I say no thanks, I'd rather have windows I can see out of.

up
Voting closed 0

Looks like a talented painter, if not particularly original. Cap (from Style Wars) was mindless; this guy is at least mixing it up and putting some work into his tags.

You know the names Banksy and Haring; google "Dondi White" to learn about another artist who "just mindlessly sprayed his name onto trains".

up
Voting closed 0

I agree age doesn't anything to do with it but wow are you entitled. Name one other art form (generously including tagging here) where the 'artist' semi-permanently imposes their art on everyone else? Music is temporary, writing doesn't have to be read, dance is ephemeral. Tagging is mostly just useless rebellion mixed with territorial pissing.

This has nothing to do with income equality or diminishing purchasing power. It isn't some noble protest, it's some schmoo who mistakenly thinks we all need to see his creative brilliance.

up
Voting closed 0

Name one other art form (generously including tagging here) where the 'artist' semi-permanently imposes their art on everyone else?

How about commercial advertising? I'd much rather look at some well-executed graffiti tags than outdoor billboards.

up
Voting closed 0

I'm not quite sure I see the entitled part. It's not saying that all graffiti all the time is ok. It's questioning why public spaces are left boring and vacant of expression. Why should art be confined to museums where the public has to pay to enjoy it? I would rather public spaces be venues that have expression and character- even if I don't like the art. Because art can change, but a gray wall is always a gray wall.

But as most people walk around staring at their phones, who really notices anyway.

up
Voting closed 0

I guess the MBTA train painters will earn their six figures thanks to this guy. :D

up
Voting closed 0

FREE WYSE!

up
Voting closed 0

Free Wyse forever. Looks like we need to find some bigger problems to solve.

up
Voting closed 0

First u have the innovators.
Then u have the imitators,
Then u have the idiot's.

up
Voting closed 0