Cops Nab Anti-Obama Graffitist After 4-Month Investigation

Sgt. Rich Mamay spotted a 63-year-old man who fit a description of the graffiti artist, leading to the arrest.

LONG ISLAND, NY -- Local police said a 63-year-old man is responsible for political graffiti that has been popping up around the village for months.

On Tuesday afternoon, Lawrence G. Nickel, a boat captain from Florida who lives in East Hampton, was charged with one felony criminal mischief count and 12 misdemeanor counts of making graffiti, as well as one count of petty larceny, also a misdemeanor.

"The charges stem from a four-month long investigation into a rash of graffiti throughout the village, which made derogatory references to President Obama and his policies," a statement from the East Hampton Village police department said.

Chief Jerry Larsen said Nickel caused more than $1,500 worth of damage to buildings, traffic signs and even the department's surveillance cameras that it put up to try and catch him in the act. Larsen said Nickel ripped down the cameras and threw them in the ocean.

Starting in May, Nickel used mainly black marker to write phrases like, "Obama P.O.S." and "Obama US #1 Eco Terrorist," the chief said. He also used a racial slur in a message he left on the East Hampton Movie Theater, according to the chief. Later, Larsen said, he placed bumper stickers around the village.

"We really have to thank the business owners," Larsen said. With their cooperation, police got video of the graffiti-artist that led police to identify him.

A description was given out to all of the officers and on Sunday morning around 4:30, Sgt. Rich Mamay spotted a man who fit the description walking around the village. Mamay spoke to the man and got his name and some information about him and they went their separate ways, Larsen said. Mamay turned his information over to the detectives, who followed up with Nickel and ultimately arrested him on Tuesday, he said.

"It was good police work," Larsen said.

Police released Nickel on $750 station house bail. He will be arraigned at the East Hampton Town Justice Court on Oct. 11.

Symplyfire September 20, 2012 at 07:45 PM
This is a disgrace this man and anyone who agrees with his tactics are as ignorant and hateful as the message. We can agree to disagree on issues and politics but when a 63 year OLD man resorts to childish behavior and makes untrue and hateful statements he should be held on more than $750 bail. Shameful and Unpatriotic!!! He should be ashamed of himself acting like a 2 year old for negative attention.
Symplyfire September 20, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Lance Warren last time I checked first amendment rights have nothing to do with defacing property that doesn't belong to him with messages unwarranted by the businesses in which he applied damage. The business owners put up cameras to catch this man because freedom of speech is one thing defacing property is another. Ignorance at its finest especially since your Obama views are as skewed as they are he is so far from a communist but I'm not here to argue politics rather the ignorance of an old man with your seal of approval it is a crime not a violation of rights!!!!
richard j wadzinsdki jr September 20, 2012 at 08:15 PM
What do you expect when the media adverts glorify a thug punk sparay painting walls , makes it like its an ok thing to do also the stupid kid that keeps falling on a skate board down a flight of stairs, what the hell is media teaching the people glorifying this type of behaviour, but when it happens for real there all upset now,,,, TAKE THOSE DUMB AZZ ADVERTS OFF THE AIR NOW, THEY ONLY ACCENTUATE CRIME AND MISBEHAVIOUR. wtg old man but next time use a billboard, canvas or poster board so ya dont get in trouble. hoipe and change my eye.....
Harry One September 20, 2012 at 08:39 PM
abc said he is a tea party member
john anonymouse September 20, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Would he have been arrested if he put up Pro-Obama graffitti ? Which is worse Pro-Obama lies or Anti-Obama truth?
Rodger Higgins September 20, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Oscumbag is an habitual liar so where did this poor old man that B.Bonner (post above) wants him to die. Perhaps he should scribble all over B. Bonners face since he supports lying liberals.
Bill Jenkins September 20, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Isn't it strange that the police would go to those lengths to catch a graffiti artist when graffiti is seen all over Chicago. Oh, I forgot, the graffiti is about Obama. The Obama police is out to get those evil people.
Liman September 20, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Bill, you're wrong, The East Hampton Police Department leaves no stone unturned to apprehend graffiti "artists." We've heard many stories of the police working month after month to ferret out these vandals. Why, a four month investigaton is nothing when someone uses a marker on private property. It's the same level of intensity they show to enforce Town housing laws. No, wait. That's not right.
Penny September 20, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Wow...cringing at the commentary above...why such hatred of our local PD? Graffiti is still graffiti. This isn't NYC & it is a crime as far as I know. So, we should just let everyone express their opinions on everyone else's property, however & whenever they choose to do so? There's more constructive ways to get your point across...that's what letters & blogs & the like are for. And the voting booth. Funny how, the next time you have an emergency at your home or on the road, you'll be singing the praises of these same officers you disparage. The negativity that regularly appears here is sad to me. Attacking others under the guise of reasonable discussion. Our poor children.
crashcourse September 21, 2012 at 04:39 AM
I whole heartedly disagree with the man's tactics; as I've had to clean the stuff from my own buildings. He should have had enough guts to post signs on his own property to get his message out. With that said, what would be unpatriotic, as you put it Symplyfire, would be to say nothing. It is not unpatriotic to voice your disproval of a president; quite the opposite actually. A true patriot stands for the rights and well being of his/her country and its people no matter who they face! As for you, “Common Sense,” no one cares about your opinion. It’s obvious to me that you do care about the opinions posted; otherwise you wouldn’t have scrolled down! You really need to change your name.
drof2th September 21, 2012 at 04:41 AM
I have been leaving ACCUATE post its on gas station pumps stating that gas was $1.83 when Obama took office and gas is MORE than 100% higher now. It is my calling to educate.
crashcourse September 21, 2012 at 04:48 AM
What does skateboarding have to do with this? Calm down and check your spelling. You might make more sense.
Savanna September 21, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Yea shut-up as long as we don't say anything negative about Obama Heinsane. Take from working men and women that started a business because they didn't earn that business or build it.!!!!
Savanna September 21, 2012 at 05:08 AM
"Yea shut-up as long as we don't say anything negative about Obama Heinsane. Take from working men and women that started a business because they didn't earn that business or build it.!!!!"
crashcourse September 21, 2012 at 05:18 AM
I agree with you for the most part Penny. Growing up, I hated police; mostly because I was having too much fun (skateboarding, Dick), and they were trying to stop me. So I chipped a couple sidewalks; nothing a good curb check wouldn’t accomplish. That’s beside the point, I know. My father asked me once who I would call if I was ever in trouble and needed help. A hippie, he would ask; and he was right. I have found myself in such situations, and have sought help from law enforcement; unfortunately it did little (it’s my appearance). Now, when I’m in need, I call my two trusted friends; Smith and Wesson. Probably not what you wanted to read, but where I live, response time is about 18 minutes and most of my problems stem from poachers. Fight fire with fire. Anyway, before I ramble on; and boy can I; I realized a long time ago that adults can be just as immature, if not more so, than adolescents; especially when opinions are the issue. Don’t fret too much about the youth. They tend to be smarter than we give them credit for.
Greymom September 21, 2012 at 05:52 AM
Reginald... First I want to say that the OLDER members of our society have worked for more years than you are old.They saved and invested in Social Security and Medicare. Something you don't know how to do. In the last 4 years they have lost every thing they have worked for and saved all their lives. They have no hope to get any of it back. This country is now punishing the few people who work by taking it and giving it to those who don't work and are parasites . Who have kid after kid that they cannot afford. No they don't hate, they are fed up !! I wish I could still be around when to hear you squeel like a little piggy when the time comes for YOU to give all you have which cannot be much after years of not working.. Don't forget you will be old too one day.
Greymom September 21, 2012 at 05:53 AM
you go Guy... Or Gal..
Greymom September 21, 2012 at 05:57 AM
I'm sure if it was comments about " Bush " they would be OK with it.
Greymom September 21, 2012 at 06:01 AM
Right ??? The non working people are all for him...
Greymom September 21, 2012 at 06:03 AM
Pride and responsibility Left the building 4 yrs ago.
Roy Ziegfried September 21, 2012 at 08:57 AM
Watch out kids, you may be next. Dare to dis the anointed one and theyll be breaking down your door and dragging you off in the middle of the night.
Preliator September 21, 2012 at 10:23 AM
I don't care for Obama but defacing property is no answer to get a message out. Our community is clean and well kept and I for one am glad efforts are taken to keep that way and we don't look like the blighted areas top to the west.
Steve September 21, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Check your facts: (gasbuddy.com/gb_retail_price_chart.aspx) Gas prices on 6/30/08 were at a US average of $4.12/gal. If you're going to "educate" be sure you're correct first.
Anita The Diva September 21, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Come on guys - two separate issues. They got this guy - AND - they go after crack users and dealers. Stay on point. He was wrong and I'd be pissed as hell if he had written on my house, car, or property. We have FREEDOM OF SPEECH, so he has a right to say whatever he wishes. Just let him spend his own money, paint his own signs, get a permit and put them up all over town.
Anita The Diva September 21, 2012 at 10:11 PM
OMG - Nunziatta and S.H. - I hope you both read material on all sides, get real information, and discuss calmly. Name calling never helped anything.
marina urbach September 22, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Agree with you...
B. Bonner September 22, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Forget Romney. Sing praises to Obama our Savior & Redeemer of the world. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfhHHCXxVe4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dufGQzNcKE&noredirect=1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJFC1qFCgyA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTm5rp8r6fE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ettl3zfLWus
B. Bonner September 22, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Discovered some prophecy from 40 yrs ago; very en-lighting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3hY1eagq88&feature=player_detailpage
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John Benson December 27, 2012 at 12:12 PM
If he were Hispanic and the subject of his graffiti had been Goldman-Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein the limousine liberals in EH would have given him a show in a gallery on Main Street complete with a white wine and cheese reception.


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