Judge to suspects accused of scrawling graffiti on The Bean: 'I take offense at these offenses'

Judge to suspects accused of scrawling graffiti on The Bean: 'I take offense at these offenses'

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CHICAGO — A prosecutor said Thursday more charges could be filed against seven people suspected of scrawling graffiti on The Bean in Millennium Park and the cancer survivor wall at Maggie Daley Park after Chicago officials come up with an estimate of the damage.

For now, two of the suspects are charged with felonies and the others with misdemeanors. The group is accused of painting "35th Crew" and other illegible script in 18-inch-tall silvery white letters on two sides of The Bean earlier this week. The group also tagged the cancer survivor wall and several benches and a concrete wall, writing "35th crew" and "35th street," according to prosecutors.

Tino Guzman, 20, and Rey Ortega, 20, were charged with felony counts of criminal damage to government property after security guards at the park identified them as the ones who defaced The Bean shortly before midnight Monday. Both men were also charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal trespass to state land.

Cook County Judge David Navarro ordered both held on $10,000 bail, even though their attorney asked that they be released on their own recognizance because neither had criminal records. "I take offense at these offenses, these crimes that were alleged," Navarro said.

Navarro asked prosecutors whether authorities had a cost estimate of the damage. Assistant State's Attorney Jeannine Guzolek said there wasn't, but that there may be additional charges when an estimate is reached.

Four of the other suspects were charged with misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass to state land, though security told police they were among the group who did the tagging. A seventh suspect, a 17-year-old boy, was charged with curfew violations.

Two off-duty security guards reported that they witnessed Ortega and Guzman spray-painting benches, and saw the group leaving the park by way of the Madison Street stairs, according to prosecutors. They identified Ortega and Guzman by their clothes.

Responding officers took the two men into custody, and found a white spray paint can wrapped in a black T-shirt in a nearby trash can. Ortega had white paint on his clothes. Ortega and Guzman were also captured on a police camera with spray paint cans, according to prosecutors.

The Bean was created by artist Anish Kapoor and was completed in 2006. It is composed of 168 highly polished stainless steel plates and has become one of the city's top tourist draws.


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