“Penis Man” sprang up as an unlikely counterculture hero final yr, after a thriller graffiti tagger started spray-painting these two iconic phrases on outstanding native buildings, together with Tempe’s Metropolis Corridor.
However now it is time for the Phoenix man behind the virile vandalism to pay the invoice.
Dustin Shomer, a 39-year-old pupil of the Japanese language with some offbeat political concepts, was sentenced this week to 3 years of supervised probation and ordered to pay $8,000 in restitution for the injury. A deferred, four-month jail sentence will probably be erased from the sentence if he completes 500 hours of group service, based on the phrases of a plea deal he signed in December.
Shomer did not reply to messages in search of remark.
In an interview final yr with Phoenix New Instances, Shomer described himself as a prolific copycat, not the unique “Penis Man” tagger. Police confirmed that Shomer was not the one one scrawling the title on private and non-private buildings. However he was definitely the boldest.
The graffiti started turning up round city in November 2019, and particularly in Tempe, residence to Arizona State College. Social media customers started posting photographs of the vandalism, which led to a well-liked ABC15 Information broadcast piece concerning the taggings that triggered the Penis Man legend to develop.
Tempe police started actively on the lookout for the suspect after he grew to become far more lively in January, spray-painting Tempe’s Metropolis Corridor, porta-potties on the City Lake, ASU dorms, the massive “A” on Hayden Butte, the historic Hayden Flour Mill, and numerous companies. In Phoenix, he tagged a metropolis of Phoenix constructing, a Curaleaf dispensary, and the Arizona Democratic Get together headquarters. (Six months later, the latter constructing was destroyed in a fire set by a Democratic activist.)
The tagger additionally grew to become extra political.
“Rents down, wages up!” he wrote on home windows of ASU’s Music West constructing. “PENIS MAN fuck enterprise capital up!”
Social media customers, fueled by new photographs of the handiwork, ate it up. “I am keen to assist whoever wins the dem main so long as they’ve penis man’s endorsement,” one tweeter wrote.
Tempe police arrested Shomer on January 23 however did not inform the general public about it till after Shomer posted on his Fb website that “25 closely armed SWAT officers” had stormed his Phoenix apartment. That turned out to be an exaggeration, however Tempe police later confirmed the raid concerned about 15 officers, together with a K9 officer and 4 helmet-wearing tactical-team members.
Police hadn’t caught Shomer red-handed, however they did declare to seek out paint that was nonetheless recent and moist in his backpack. It appeared Shomer had taken his superhero standing a bit far: Cops additionally discovered a pair of gloves within the apartment, one with the letter “P” on it, the opposite with the letter “M.”
Of their report, Tempe police mentioned Shomer confessed he was influenced to write down the graffiti after listening to from mates about earlier Penis Man taggings within the metropolis.
“Dustin defined that writing PENIS MAN everywhere in the metropolis was about beginning a motion towards the traders and builders who’re transferring into Tempe and Phoenix and inflicting housing and lease that’s not reasonably priced,” the report states.
In his interview with New Instances, Shomer described himself as an “unemployed slacker and musician” who was fired from a customer support job a month earlier than the MLK-weekend tags. He beforehand lived in Germany for 9 years and has a degree in Japanese from ASU.
He expressed irrational concepts concerning the taggings, claiming that “folks from my childhood try to kill me” and speculating that native politicians have been behind the unique taggings that got here earlier than him. He mentioned he was getting assist for psychological well being points.
He was charged with a complete of 33 felonies and misdemeanors, going through a theoretical 24 years in jail if convicted on all counts. Thirty-one of the counts have been dropped after he pleaded responsible to aggravated prison injury/defacing a faculty and try and commit trespassing in a crucial public service facility. Each are felonies.
Superior Courtroom Decide Teresa Sanders sentenced Shomer on Tuesday. If he completes all of the phrases of his probation, together with paying restitution, the felonies will get bumped right down to misdemeanors and he will not serve 4 months in jail. He is additionally been ordered to hunt psychological well being providers.
“On the recommendation of his legal professional, the defendant acknowledged the police experiences are an correct description of the offense,” says the case presentence report. “The defendant believes the stipulations within the plea settlement are truthful. These are his first felony offenses and he didn’t imply to hurt anyone. He was having a manic episode and he doesn’t consider jail can be an applicable sanction for that.”
The $8,000 in restitution for the clean-up work, paid at a charge of $25-35 month-to-month by Shomer, will go to: town of Tempe, Vela Residences, Lodge Finest Western, Aura Watermark Residences, U-Haul, Fenix Devlopment, ASU, Muse Residences, City Dwelling on Fillmore, Chick-fil-A, Taylor Morrison Residences, Arthaus, Arizona Democratic Constructing, Curaleaf AZ Midtown, and town of Phoenix.
New Instances has noticed a few Penis Man graffiti tags up to now yr — all small-scale stuff on low-profile areas. Shomer’s expertise with the legislation has apparently left others much less keen to advertise the concept, as a number of folks tweeted final yr, “We’re all Penis Man.”
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