An 18-year-old Los Angeles man has been fined $400 and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service work for vandalizing the Hollywood sign.
Municipal Court Judge Rose Hom ordered Rudolph Perfecto Arciaiega to give the money to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which will repaint and repair the sign, located off Mount Lee Drive in the Hollywood Hills.
Los Angeles police arrested Arciaiega and two juveniles May 3 after a private security guard detained the three at the sign, Assistant Dist. Atty. Alice Hand said. Police would not reveal the names of the juveniles, who are 15 and 16.
Gerald Roybal, a private security guard hired by Swick Webb, an independent television production company that planned to film near the sign, apprehended the three after he observed them carving their names with a paint scraper on part of the 50-foot-high sign, according to Sgt. R. Pieper of the Hollywood police precinct.
Jaybee Beswick, who witnessed the incident, said one of the youths also bent a portion of the second "O" in the sign with a crow bar.
Beswick, a painter for the production company, said he and Roybal were at the base of the hill when Roybal spotted the youths with his binoculars.
Beswick said the youths had an assortment of tools, including a hatchet, a crow bar and a paint scraper. Roybal took the youths in custody and called police.
Beswick said Swick Webb filmed part of a children's program next to the sign on May 5. He was hired to paint over and wash graffiti off the white sign, while Roybal was hired to keep vandals away for a few days before the filming, he said.
He said he told the chamber that the cleaning of the sign would cost about $200 and the repair on the bent letter would cost an additional $200.
Bill Welsh, chamber president, is scheduled to pick up a check or money order from Arciaiega at Municipal Court on Aug. 25. The community service work has not been determined.
Beswick is hired by the county to clean the sign each month. He said hundreds of names and messages are scrawled on the sign, especially on the backs of the letters.
The sign, located in a section of Griffith Park, is owned and maintained by the chamber.
Sgt. Pieper said that although vandalism does occur at the sign, it is difficult to catch people in the act and that most incidents are not reported.