Revok Arrest Trying To Leave Australia


Graffiti writer Revok was recently arrested in Melbourne for a streak of vandalism in the city, all tracked by his twitter updates. The news video above offers insight into the arrest with comical commentary by the Seventh Letter Crew member.

October 29, 2009
Article from: Australian Associated Press

AN American who graffitied Melbourne buildings and posted pictures of his work on his webpage has been handed a suspended jail sentence.

Jason Steven Williams, known by his tag Revok promised on his Twitter page to “paint as much as I can” while in Melbourne.

During his two-week spree Williams tagged several inner Melbourne buildings, including St Vincent’s Hospital, the Melbourne Magistrates Court heard.

He also sprayed a train and train overpasses.

Williams’ decision to post the graffiti on his website and Twitter page proved to be his downfall.

Police seized his camera, mobile phone and laptop when they arrested him at Melbourne Airport as he tried to go home to the United States.

He spent last night and much of today in custody.

In court later, Williams, 32, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to nine counts of criminal damage.

The court heard Williams came to Australia on October 13 to participate in a legal graffiti event that was cancelled because the promoter encountered financial troubles.

Following the cancellation he wrote: “F*** this shit. I am going to paint as much as I can and then get the f*** out of here.”

As he left the Melbourne Custody Centre, Williams said he was sorry for what he had done.

“I feel very remorseful, very remorseful,” he said.

Asked if he knew what he was doing was illegal he replied: “Shit happens, what are you going to do?”

“I just do what I do. I came here, I did some stuff, maybe I did some things I shouldn’t have done, I apologise,” he said.

Williams said it would not be wise for him to comment on whether he thought he had improved Melbourne.

Magistrate Ian von Einem was told Williams had no prior convictions.

Sentencing Williams, Mr von Einem said he had done a disservice to those pushing for greater acceptance of graffiti’s legitimacy.

The court was told Williams had legitimate exhibitions coming up in Los Angeles and Miami.

Mr von Einem sentenced Williams to nine months prison, wholly suspended for two years.

He also ordered Williams pay $15,340 in damages.

Leaving court, Williams joked that the currency exchange wasn’t good and he couldn’t have picked a worse time to have to pay a fine.

Revok’s Fame Catches Up To Him

An image of “Revok” from a graffiti video on YouTube, and the Riverside County booking photo of Jason Williams.

“Revok” is a prolific graffiti artist who also has a heavy presence on YouTube (see video below). As it turns out, the two might not go so well together. As KNBC reported here, Indio police arrested Jason Williams in Los Angeles last week on vandalism charges after they traced fingerprints from various tags and street art back to the L.A-based Williams. Most of the tagging in question apparently took place during the Coachella music festival.

Revok is not a small-timer. He appears in a number of online videos about graffiti, including at least one where he spraypaints a wall himself — and others where he is interviewed and profiled as a well-known Southland graffiti artist. In this video interview, Revok says, “More than half my life now has been spent doing graffiti. I’ve gone to jail I don’t know how many times, had people trying to kill me. There’s really no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for that.”

The graffiti in many of the YouTube videos is ornate and expertly rendered. Revok is clearly a talented artist. But …

“No matter what you call it,” an Indio police spokesman told KNBC, “it’s defacing public and private property.”

For repeat offenders, felony vandalism (for damage greater than $400) is punishable by a jail term of up to one year, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. Not what you would call a pot of gold.