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MTA New York City Transit’s Eagle Team Swoops in on Bronx Graffiti Vandal

Members of MTA New York City Transit’s Eagle Team joined with members of New York’s Finest to erase a graffiti vandal who had trespassed into a Bronx subway yard shortly after midnight on Monday and spray painted a pair of subway cars as they sat waiting for the morning rush period.

Inspector Jeffrey Sonner and Special Inspector Thomas Pfister were inspecting parked trains in the East 180 St/Unionport Yard when they saw an unauthorized person on the property.  They called in assistance from Special Inspector Anthony Anesta and Inspector Thomas Collins and the two teams canvassed the train yard and nearby track area, searching for the intruder.

Flushed out, the vandal appeared from behind an idle train and ran off along the tracks toward the Bronx Park East Station.  The suspect was caught by the two teams and held for NYPD Transit Officers from District 12 who made the arrest.  The suspect, Luis Arroyo, 37, was caught carrying two cans of spray paint when he was apprehended.  He was charged with Third Degree Criminal Mischief, Making Graffiti, Possession of Graffiti Instruments and Third Degree Criminal Trespass.

“This was a terrific job performed by the Eagle Team and the NYPD Transit Bureau,” said Alan Putre, who is serving as Transit’s Acting Vice President of the Department of Security.  “Removing graffiti from subway train is a lot harder than running your Chevy through a car wash.  This is a tremendous waste of money, manpower and time when that train is being scrubbed instead of being available to serve our customers.”

Further investigation and comparison of tags indicated a possible match to an earlier incident of vandalism at another location in the yard.

Painted vandalism costs the MTA approximately $1 million a year to remove.  This is money that could be far better spent elsewhere, and don’t forget, graffiti removal keeps trains out of service while they are being cleaned.  Additionally, in order to reach the trains, which are often “hit” in lay-up areas, these vandals put themselves at great risk of serious injury or even death. 

On any level you can think of, vandalizing a subway car just isn’t worth it.