NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 20, 2012

Teen charged in graffiti spree

HAVERHILL — Police charged a local teenager in connection with a vandalism spree last month in which private and public property was tagged with black and red spray paint, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

The targets included Comeau Bridge, businesses, stop signs, cars, signs, fences and the outside of an apartment building, police said.

Christian Moscone, 19, of 106 River St., No. 1, was arrested Wednesday after an investigation. Most of the tagging took place between the evening of Saturday, March 17, and the next morning, when police started getting reports of damage. Moscone is charged with 14 counts of defacing property.

Several business owners said they removed the graffiti they found on Sunday, then found more the next day.

If convicted, Moscone faces up to three years in state prison. He could also be fined up to $1,500 or three times the value of the property damaged, may have to pay restitution and could have his driver's license suspended for a year.

According to a police report on file in Haverhill District Court, police received an anonymous tip that Moscone was involved in the vandalism. Detectives John Moses and Sean Scharneck, the department's graffiti experts, investigated the vandalism and found that Moscone had a Facebook page displaying images similar to the tags on a building at 105 So. Prospect St. Moscone's Facebook page indicates he graduated from Pentucket Regional High School in 2011 and that he had studied illustration at Northern Essex Community College.

A prominent image on his Facebook page shows a map of the world with the word "HOPELESS" in dripping red paint across the map.

"This is still under investigation, and we are looking into the possibility of other suspects," Moses said.

Police learned that Moscone was from Merrimac but was living with two roommates in an apartment building at 106 River St., Haverhill. The owner, former City Councilor Krystine Hetel, reported to police on Tuesday that her building had been tagged with a smiley face and the word "RED," as was a building at 112 River St. that she owns. Police said Moscone's sister lives in the 112 River St. building.

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