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Last night The Colbert Report got on the case of Natalie Shea, the 6-year-old Park Slope girl who was fined $300 by the city for defacing the sidewalk in front of her home with colored chalk last fall. "Graffiti is a crime, pure and simple," Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., apparently one of the last people on earth who hasn't heard of Colbert, tells the camera with stern seriousness. "Graffiti artists are punks." We have to say, when the camera cuts to giggling, gloating Natalie and her indulgent, Bobo parents, we don't entirely disagree: These people should be prosecuted! Click above to watch the video. Earlier: Sidewalk Chalking Is a Gateway Crime
Ellis Gallagher Will Make All Sidewalks Safe for Chalking Children Again
Meet Ellis Gallagher, Brooklynite and first non-child victim in the sidewalk-chalk war. Gallagher, who has been drawing silhouettes on the streets for the past three years (he's been profiled in the Times and has lectured on graffiti as art at the Brooklyn Museum), was the city's first chalk-related arrest last week when police saw him at work during the filming of a profile set to air in early November as part of Channel 13's "New York Voices" series. "I've been stopped before, but once they see it's chalk, they lay off," Gallagher says. He was carted around to three different precincts and charged with making graffiti, possessing graffiti instruments, and making mischief before charges were dropped in Red Hook court the next day.
Park Slope Child Strikes Again
Natalie Shea, the Park Slope child whose neighbor called the fuzz on her when she tagged the sidewalk in front of her building last week, remains free, despite our efforts. And it appears that she still hasn't learned her lesson. The Brooklyn Paper caught the little ruffian scribbling on the sidewalk again this week, and it looks like she was doing so with the encouragement of her parents. “We just think the whole thing is ridiculous, and we’re showing it,” Natalie’s mom, Jen Pepperman, told the paper, clearly high on the publicity they received last week after the paper's original story was picked up by the BBC, among other news outlets. “This created more controversy than the Bush wiretapping,” said Natalie’s father, George Shea, who is described as a public-relations expert. (Christ. If he worked for us, we would fire him immediately for saying something so totally Brooklyn-y.) But exactly how far are the Pepperman-Sheas (Christ. The 'Pepperman-Sheas.') willing to go with their stand against The Man? They have one more week to respond to their letter from the city asking them to remove the graffiti before they get slapped with a $300 fine. Will they remove the graffiti and risk being fined? And then, will they pay the fine or let their daughter go to the pokey? If it's the latter, we suggest little Natalie watch out for Foxy Brown. She doesn't take any shit, we heard. Defiant Tot: I'll Tag Again [Brooklyn Paper] Earlier: Sidewalk Chalking Is a Gateway Crime