Oct. 29, 2014 By Christian Murray
An Astoria graffiti vandal was indicted today by a Queens County jury for allegedly tagging everything from highway walls to the observation deck at Astoria Park.
Michael Mestric, 30, of 44th Street in Astoria, allegedly tagged “AOE” throughout Queens and Brooklyn on property such trees to traffic control boxes between May 2013 through April 2014.
Mestric was arraigned on a 38-count indictment charging him with 19 counts of criminal mischief and 19 counts of making graffiti. His next court date is Oct.31 where he faces up to 7 years in prison.
“Today’s indictment is part of our continuing efforts to combat graffiti and to eradicate it from our borough. Graffiti is not art – nor is it a victimless crime. Tagging encourages lawlessness,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A Brown.
Mestric found a canvas for his tag at nearly ever turn, Brown said. His moniker ‘AOE’ was spray painted on highway walls along the Grand Central Parkway, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Long Island Expressway.
Mestric is also accused of tagging traffic control boxes, a fence and a tree, as well as the historic observation deck at Astoria Park.
The damage and cost of removing the graffiti is alleged to have exceeded $12,500 and the observation deck at Astoria Park alone cost more than $2,500 to repair.