So when did graffiti become a federal offense?
When you spray paint an F-bomb on a federal building sign, one that identifies the office of the nation’s immigration agency — that’ll land you in federal court, as one man learned this week.
Corey Cook, 30, of Warren was arrested Thursday by Homeland Security agents after getting caught on surveillance video spraying some not so flattering words on the ICE street sign in front of the federal building at Jefferson and Mount Elliott. The message read: F— ICE.He was charged with depredation of government property — a federal crime that carries up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
The incident occurred on July 19. According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday, here is what happened:
Homeland Security agents received a tip that someone had vandalized the Rosa Parks Federal Building street sign. The words “F— ICE” had been painted on it.
Surveillance video depicts two masked individuals dressed in all black approaching the building from Jefferson Avenue.
One of the individuals also had on a distinctive yellow reflective construction vest. That person was seen taking out a can from a backpack, shaking it, spray painting the sign with profanity, dropping the can back in the backpack and walking away.
The individual’s arms were showing; they featured distinctive tattoos.
An investigation followed. Federal agents identified the masked graffiti artist as Corey Charles Cook.
On Thursday, records show, officers spoke to Cook, read him his Miranda Rights, and then he fessed up. According to the complaint, he admitted in writing that he vandalized the sign,
Cook appeared in court that same day and was released on bond.
Federal officials denounced the act as an “appalling” attempt to intimidate and disrespect immigration officers, who, they said, do their jobs professionally and humanely.