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No Empathy for Tagger--or His Parents

July 25, 1993

Re: "War of the Walls" (July 14): In this article a staff writer asks a young boy why he tags.

"It's for the chase and the street fame. I do it to get known, to get up, regardless if people feel that I'm causing damage to property. Will fines prevent tagging and graffiti? Nobody gives a damn. They're just gonna do what they want."

It is so sad to think this is the only way this boy can gain recognition in his community. Have all parents given up on these youths? It seems no one cares about them.

Taggers are not that different from gang bangers. They carry guns, are destructive and have no morals or goals.

BLYTHE BELL

Rancho Palos Verdes

*

Congratulations on your article and picture on the tagger named "Creator." What on Earth inspired you to splash his baggy little butt and his moronic wall scrawl across your View section?

I don't suppose it occurred to you that you've handed this teen twit the ultimate in peer recognition. He's now a super hero amongst the super stupid, who can now be expected to quadruple their efforts to emulate him.

JAMES F. RYAN

Van Nuys

*

I am a business owner in Los Angeles. You cannot imagine how much time, money and effort is devoted to wiping out graffiti. I cannot believe The Times would devote an entire page to the worthless viewpoints of a low-life tagger, and not only that you gave him the exact exposure this little punk is asking for. Shame on all of you.

JODY ST. MICHAEL

Los Angeles

*

The article about "Creator," the 13-year-old tagger, was sad, disturbing, and a pitiful commentary on our society.

Why does a 13-year-old, who says he started doing graffiti at the age of 8, have such a hardened attitude that makes him want to vandalize property? And how can his parents allow him to lead this kind of a life? This is a child destroying personal and public property, and one who has possession of guns and knives.

Legislation must be passed that will enable the law enforcement agencies to cite the parents of every minor, such as Creator, and make them financially responsible for all damage. Maybe then the parents will know where their children are and what they are doing, and not allow this irrational behavior.

JERRY PATRONE

Los Angeles

*

I was appalled by the arrogance that the 13-year-old tagger expressed. As a special-education teacher for 14 years, I spend a tremendous amount of my day dealing with the social/emotional issues of my students. My students learn to be responsible for their actions and behavior. They develop the necessary skills to be productive, law-abiding citizens.

This child states that his parents "sort of talked" to him about tagging, but he's chosen to say that he's "not gonna listen." Parents and society have come to expect the schools to teach morals, values and ethics.

Why do these parents just look the other way? Why is this child allowed to point out where he has defaced property as he drives with his father? Why is this child allowed to have three guns, which he says his mom knows about, in his possession? I am forced to shake my head in disgust, fear and disbelief.

BONNIE BLITZSTEIN

Boyle Heights

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I wonder how "cool" Creator's dad would be about his son's tagging if he were required by law to paint over any walls his son has vandalized, or repair any $600 panes of glass he has etched with his moniker?

"Sometimes he'll be supportive, or sometimes he'll be like, whatever," says his son. We are apathetic parents and an apathetic adult society when we allow ourselves to be held hostage by these selfish, pathetic tagger-brats and gang-bangers.

I am sick and tired of driving to work every morning visually assaulted by this sludge of graffiti everywhere you look. It will be interesting to see what this new Los Angeles Administration accomplishes in the future.

ANTHONY J. DENMAN

Los Angeles

*

I used to laugh at titles like sanitation engineer for a janitor. Now I'm confronted with a masked child who wants to be called writer.

BILL MARTINEZ

Los Angeles

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Regarding "Creator," the little miscreant profiled in "War of the Walls" who brags, "I'd say the damage I've done is quite a bit": He's right. The damage done is depressingly obvious. Our once-beautiful Southland is now some horrible, sun-drenched version of the lower depths of the crumbling East Coast.

Creator later says his parents are aware of his "artwork" and that, sometimes, his father is "supportive." I wonder how supportive dad would be if a stiff fine and an all-expenses paid trip to county lockup were given to parents who allow their children to run wild. Enough's enough.

MICHAEL ALBO

Hacienda Heights

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