A man in New Orleans has been arrested and faces misdemeanor charges after he was caught spray-painting multiple buildings on and near Bourbon Street with a distinct message that happened to match multiple articles of his clothing.
In addition to carrying out the vandalism on what’s probably the city’s busiest and most crowded street, one that happens to be a designated historic landmark, the spraying was caught on surveillance cameras and also witnessed by police officers. Plus, there was something suspicious about the man committing it: He was wearing a shirt and hat with the word “cocaine,” while also spraying the word “cocaine” on buildings and on the ground, the New Orleans Times Picayune reported.
The word was also found sprayed in other places around the area, including at least five places on the ground. And the man was also found carrying a white spray paint can that matched the color (white, of course) of the sprayed words.
The accused spray painter, Sean Harrington is, at age 45, unusually old for a graffiti vandal. According to the newspaper, he’s been charged with two counts of criminal damage to property of a value less than $500 and one count of criminal damage to a historic building or landmark. Harrington, however, has not been charged with possession of cocaine, or any other crime related to drugs.
The man is now free on bond.
It’s perhaps the strangest cocaine-related news story in the southern United States since the one in the summer of 2017 when, according to the Miami Herald, a 35-year-old Florida drug dealer decided to complain to police about the cash and cocaine that had been stolen from his car. When a deputy arrived, he noticed that there was, in fact, still cocaine in the man’s car, as well as a crack rock, and the caller was arrested for resisting an officer without violence, possessing drug paraphernalia, and possessing cocaine.
After a spike in crime following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans’ murder rate is expected to reach its lowest murder rate since the 1980s this year, although it is still one of the nation’s more violent cities.
“In 2017, we were 4th in the United States [in murders]. What is this wonderful cosmopolitan city, lattes all over the city, doing with the 4th highest murder rate? I think it’s wrong to pat ourselves on the back, we still have a horrendous violent crime, gun injury, murder problem,” Peter Scharf, a criminologist at LSU Health, told Fox 8 last month.