CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Two men accused of spray-painting "The Bean" and other property at Millennium and Maggie Daley parks were ordered held on $10,000 bail Thursday.
Tino Guzman and Rey Ortega, both 20, were charged with felony criminal damage to government property and misdemeanor criminal trespassing on state land. Four others were charged with the same misdemeanor offense and a 17-year-old boy was cited for being in a public park after hours.
The seven were arrested when officers responded to a call of a group spray-painting "The Bean" at 12:24 a.m. Tuesday, Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Jeannine Guzolek said during the bond hearing for Guzman and Ortega.
After the group was taken into custody, officers recovered POD [Police Observation Devices] camera footage that allegedly shows Ortega parking a dark-colored vehicle just over an hour earlier in the 400 block of East Randolph.
Ortega and one of the vehicle's three male passengers, who hasn't been charged, are then seen hopping out of the vehicle and tagging in the area, Guzolek said. Surveillance footage also allegedly shows Ortega using white spray paint to deface "The Bean."
Additional POD camera footage shows the group expanding to as many as eight people and walking into Maggie Daley Park, where an entrance, concrete bike path, wooden bench and wrought-iron structure near the Cancer Survivors' Garden were found vandalized, Guzolek said. A concrete barrier near the intersection of Columbus Drive and Monroe Street and two trash cans were also defaced.
Guzolek noted that most of the graffiti included the number 35 or said "35th Crew" or "35th Street."
The group was arrested after two off-duty security guards saw Ortega and Guzman spray-paint some benches as they were leaving Millennium Park, Guzolek said. One of the guards positively identified both men, Guzolek said.
When Ortega was taken into custody, he had white paint on his shirt and shorts that matched the color of many of the tags, Guzolek said. Officers also found a can of white spray paint wrapped in a black shirt in a nearby trashcan.
Kal Issa, Guzman and Ortega's defense attorney, said that Guzman works as a cashier at a restaurant and Ortega is a high school graduate who is now employed as a trailer mechanic. Neither man has a criminal background, Guzolek said.
Judge David Navarro said he will recommend that the men be placed on electronic monitoring if they are able to post bond.
"I take offense at these crimes that were alleged to have been committed by your clients," Navarro said to Issa.
The spray spree also drew the ire of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who said "it is unbelievably unacceptable for somebody to be defacing something like [The Bean]."
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Issa said he doesn't think the public should "jump to conclusions" despite the compelling evidence laid out by prosecutors.
"They need to have their day in court," Issa said. "[Prosecutors] can charge whatever. It doesn't necessarily mean anything."
The four adults who were just charged with just the misdemeanor are expected to appear in court on July 29.