Tagger Injured in Fall Is Fined, Loses Driver's License

A teenager who was seriously hurt while tagging a Mulholland Drive overpass must serve three years' probation, pay for the cleanup and give up his driver's license for a year, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Daniel Ryan Supple, 19, of Woodland Hills was painting the word "OZIE" on the San Diego Freeway overpass in June 1997 when he fell about 50 feet onto the dirt shoulder of the freeway, said Deputy City Atty. Michael Schwartz.

A California Highway Patrol Officer found Supple about 5:45 a.m. He was arrested after investigators found three cans of spray paint nearby and saw paint on his pants and fingers, Schwartz said.

Supple was taken to UCLA Medical Center, where he was treated for numerous fractures. Paramedics told investigators they found spray-paint nozzle tips in his pants pockets, Schwartz said.

Supple has spray-painted "OZIE" and "HAWK" throughout the Los Angeles area for several years, the prosecutor said.

Supple pleaded no contest to one count of vandalism and was sentenced by Municipal Court Commissioner Nori Anne Walla, who placed him on three years' summary probation, ordered him to pay $1,518 to Caltrans for the cost of cleaning the graffiti off the overpass, and suspended his driver's license for a year.

A license suspension is mandatory for anyone convicted of vandalism in California, Schwartz said.

City Atty. James K. Hahn said Supple will also have to send a letter to San Fernando Valley high school students, telling them why tagging is wrong and dangerous, and include photographs of his injuries.

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