UHCL The Signal
The official student newspaper of the University of Houston-Clear Lake

UHCL graffiti vandal is arrested

0 638
Cesar Lupian Jr. a 24-year-old resident of Webster was arrested and charged with a criminal Trespass Warning and “Graffiti” Class B charges. Photo courtesy of UHCL Police Department.
Cesar Lupian Jr. a 24-year-old resident of Webster was arrested and charged with a criminal Trespass Warning and “Graffiti” Class B charges. Photo courtesy of UHCL Police Department.

A vandal was arrested March 23 for tagging “nine,” “slumped TX” and “slumped boyz” in UHCL’s men’s restrooms and campus stairways. Despite the graffiti culprit tagging UHCL’s campus, he was not a UHCL student.

Graffiti in Bayou Building's men's restroom displaying the word, "nine."
Graffiti in Bayou Building’s men’s restroom displaying the word, “nine.” Courtesy of: UHCL PD

Cesar Lupian Jr. a 24-year-old resident of Webster was arrested and charged with a criminal Trespass Warning and “Graffiti” Class B charges. This offense is punishable by up to 180 days in jail because the markings were done on an institute of higher education. With these charges, Lupian is not allowed to enter the campus for any reason, and if he does he will be arrested and charged with trespassing.

“The UHCL PD worked with the UHCL custodial staff and CCTV cameras on campus to narrow down a time frame of when the incident was occurring, this allowed us to identify the suspect,” said Allen Hill, UHCL chief of police. “From there, operations were conducted by the UHCL PD to get a positive identification on the suspect to obtain an arrest warrant. Once we obtained the arrest warrant, we arrested the suspect at his nearby residence.”

Graffiti in Bayou Building's men's restroom displaying the word, "nine." Photo courtesy of UHCL PD.
Graffiti in Bayou Building’s men’s restroom displaying the word, “nine.” Photo courtesy of UHCL PD.

In addition to the criminal charges, if Lupian was a UHCL student found guilty for this crime, or any violation, his punishment could range from a warning, suspension or expulsion depending upon the severity of the crime.

“Any time university property is destroyed or defaced, the act would be considered vandalism,” said David Rachita, dean of students.

Freedom of speech has been a controversial topic across many colleges and universities. It is the First Amendment in the United States Constitution, and it protects students from the university censoring their voices. In fact, in the right setting graffiti can be an art form or protected form of speech. However, there are laws that separate free speech and vandalism.

“You cannot destroy property in order to display free speech,” Hill said.

Although this act was considered vandalism due to the defacing of UHCL’s property, if a student would like to display their art or exercise their right to freedom of speech, UHCL has an approval process that one can undergo.

Graffiti in men's bathroom in Bayou Building. Photo courtesy of UHCL Police Department.
Graffiti in men’s bathroom in Bayou Building. Photo courtesy of UHCL Police Department.