Teenager Held on $24,000 Bond for Spray Painting Graffiti
SPRING HILL – A homesick New York teenager faces a slew of charges, after he vandalized several local businesses and public properties.
According to officials, 18-year-old Dakota James Wedgren used spray paint to tag his initials and other markings on utility boxes, USPS mail boxes, street signs dumpsters, vehicles, and commercial structures.
Investigators say a total of 18 criminal mischief complaints were filed over the course of about 35 days and some of the same complainants were targeted more than once.
During the course of the investigation, Powell Middle School Resource Deputy, John Fremer, began asking students if they knew anything about the graffiti. Several students provided Deputy Fremer with the name “Dakota” and with that information Detectives were able to determine that Wedgren was their suspect.
Investigators made contact with Wedgren at his home inside Spring Haven Apartments, and that’s where they also located a large piece of cardboard with the same graffiti initials used in the Criminal Mischief cases. Wedgren told investigators during an interview that he committed the offenses to “blow off steam because he had been depressed lately.” The specific graffiti sign was supposed to look like the letters ME (referring to himself) and NY (referring to New York), where he just moved from two months ago.
Wedgren is charged with 10 misdemeanor and 8 felony counts of criminal mischief. Wedgren remains behind bars at the Hernando County Jail on a $24,000 bond.
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