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2 Sentenced Over Graffiti Vandalism

Two men--one of whom was observed admiring his handiwork and the other a reputed member of a gang from Blythe Street in Panorama City--were convicted Monday of graffiti vandalism.

In the first case, Hamid Ismail, a 19-year-old Woodland Hills man, pleaded no contest in Van Nuys Municipal Court to misdemeanor vandalism for using spray-paint to put the name of his tagging crew on a Japanese restaurant in the 17900 block of Ventura Boulevard in Encino.

Police observed Ismail as he parked his Toyota Camry in front of the restaurant at 2:30 a.m. Aug. 20 and emerged with two cans of spray-paint, said Deputy City Atty. Gary Geuss.

After spraying a few letters, Ismail would run back to his car and hold up a thumb “as if he was an artist judging his work,” Geuss said.

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Van Nuys Municipal Court Commissioner Mitchell Block sentenced Ismail to 30 days of graffiti removal and 3 years of probation.

The second case involved Ramon Aguilera, 18, a reputed member of a Blythe Street gang.

Aguilera was arrested Oct. 27 after he scrawled graffiti on his own apartment building in the 14600 block of Blythe Street in Van Nuys, Geuss said.

After Aguilera pleaded no contest to misdemeanor vandalism, Block sentenced him to 10 days in county jail, 25 days of graffiti removal and two years of probation.

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