‘No weed, No Alcohol, Just Spray Paint and a Tower’

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The water tower in Rexburg after the vandalism took place.

Alex Rasmussen, Reporter

Editor’s Note: Bobcat Beat usually does not publish articles without using the name of the source. We made an exception in this story because the criminal case is still open.

 

Recently, the Rexburg water tower was vandalized by a 19 year old BYU-I student from Colorado. Because of this, he was charged with a misdemeanor.

“I chose the water tower because in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it was a water tower. In Colorado we don’t have a water tower so I thought it would be pretty cool to climb one. It wasn’t worth it honestly, it was funny and all, but not worth all the trouble and hassle,” he said. I wrote ‘Save Ferris’ because it’s the best thing you could write, it’s something everyone can look up and laugh at.”

The task of climbing the water tower wasn’t easy. Luckily, the barbed wire was broken before he got there.

“None of it was very easy. The barbed wire was broken before me, it looked like someone had eaten it. The tower was hard. On one leg, there’s a ladder but its blocked off, its a couple stories up with a rectangular covering over it. That was the hard part. On the side of it, it was welded, so there was about an eighth of an inch of space that I gripped onto to pull myself up,” he said.

Many people wonder if he had any help with this.

“I was definitely the only one that spray painted and climbed it,” he said.

The time at which the crime happened was mis-reported on many news sites.

“It was really late, around 3 a.m. When your mom says nothing good happens after 2 a.m., nothing good happens after 2 a.m.,” he said.

He was worried about three things, the law, the school, and his parents.

“Huh uh, my parents don’t know. They won’t find out either, I’m not going to rush and tell them. As far as the law, a first offence misdemeanor isn’t much of a big deal. The school, I thought I would get expelled. I got a call from the honors office and was like ‘holy cow.’ We talked about it and he said I wouldn’t get expelled, but possibly suspended. If you get suspended here, it’s immediate. You get kicked out of your classes and you don’t get your credits, but you still pay for them. The law wasn’t so nice with the misdemeanor,” he said.

The vandal believes that he wouldn’t have gotten caught if it wasn’t for familiar faces at Walmart. Many reports said that he got caught because he was bragging, but it was really the two people that saw him buy spray paint. It was a long time after he did it before he got caught.

“It was about a week and a half. It was surprisingly far down the road. We were freaking out and wondering what we did recently to have the cops show up. They knock on the door, and I say come in. Mistake. I have my guitar and have my shirt off, and the fuzz walks in. My computer screen saver is a Ferris Bueller quote, I had climbing gear on the floor, and we were watching classic movies. The cop walks in and says, ‘Oh so you like climbing? You like the classics?’ I’m like jeez, whatever,” he said.

The police officers asked to search their car in search of possible evidence.

“These guys searched my car. I gave them permission because I didn’t have anything incriminating. He asked questions about the weirdest things. I had some steel wool in there and the cop was like ‘why do you have steel wool?’ He’s freaking out about steel wool and we have a shopping cart in the back of our car and he doesn’t say a word about it. It’s steel wool, it’s like having duct tape,” his friend said.

After the crime, he kept up to date on the news sites and noticed how many facts were incorrect. He realized that the media doesn’t always get everything right.

“The time it happened, wrong. How we got caught, wrong. They said I was a graffiti artist, I have never done graffiti in my entire life, that was the first time. Death defying? It was just a ladder, c’mon. I was just some kid who thought it would be funny,” he said.

He gave advice for those thinking of doing something like this, as well as things you should think about before committing any crime, such as your future.

 “I think there are easier ways for you to be funny and do cool stuff without doing anything that can really get you screwed. One thing that I wasn’t thinking about was that the taxpayers are paying to fix the damage. I am literally just screwing the community out of their money, and I hadn’t thought about that beforehand. Also, if you’re trying to serve a mission, doing something like this isn’t a good idea. I’m pretty sure if you have any crime, it will keep you in the states,” he said.

Thankfully, no substances were involved.

“No weed, no alcohol, just spray paint and a tower,” he said.