Summons For Defacing Fence Upheld

261 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Image credit: CityLaw.

Individual pasted poster on construction fence. On July 2, 2017, William Acevedo was observed dipping his brush in glue and pasting a poster bill onto a wooden barrier at a construction site located at 261 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan. Acevedo did not have permission or authority from the property owner to paste the poster bill. An NYPD officer charged Acevedo with making graffiti and possession of graffiti instruments. 

Acevedo moved to dismiss the charges in criminal court. He argued that the facts alleged were insufficient to demonstrate an intent to damage the wooden barrier.

Judge Heidi Cesare held that a fact finder could reasonably infer that Acevedo had intended to damage the wooden barrier, an essential element in both charges. Acevedo’s actions tended to lower the property value and alter the original purpose of the wooden barrier. Judge Cesare reasoned that the wooden barrier’s purpose was to surround and protect a construction site. The cost of returning the wooden barrier to its original condition would be measurable. Judge Cesare denied Acevedo’s motion to dismiss and his case moves to trial.


People v. Acevedo, 65 N.Y.S.3d 673 (Crim. Ct., New York Cty 2017).

By: May Vutrapongvatana (May is a New York Law School Student, Class of 2019.)

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