Cops Capture Alleged Abraham Lincoln Graffiti Artist

Photo by Adam Rakhamim

Photo by Adam Rakhamim

Officers from Bensonhurst’s 62nd Precinct apprehended the man they believe to be behind the series of Abraham Lincoln graffiti that has spread across Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods, the Home Reporter reports.

“The men and women of the 62nd Precinct should be commended for a job well done,” said Community Board 11 (CB 11) District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia told the Bay Ridge newspaper. “Graffiti is a blight on our neighborhood and it will not be tolerated.”

The suspect, a 24-year-old man, is accused of using stencils and spray paint to put the legendary president’s face on public and private property along a broad swath of Brooklyn. The images can be seen at almost every Belt Parkway overpass and subway easement, as well as on the sides of many businesses, from Mill Basin to Bay Ridge.

According to the paper, this is how the bust went down:

The suspect, wanted for illegally leaving his mark in the form of Honest Abe’s face on walls across the borough, was pulled over in a traffic stop on Friday, January 17 after failing to signal at Dahill Road and 65th Street. Cops said that the suspect, identified as 24-year-old Vladimir Bubnov, was driving with a suspended license and immediately arrested.

Upon investigation, according to police, responding officers uncovered five graffiti stencils and seven cans of spray paint in the suspect’s vehicle.

“He has been charged in four incidents, so far,” said NYPD spokesperson James Duffy.

Police announced that they were hunting the suspect during the January 9 meeting of Community Board 11. They claimed they were “closing in” on the person, who they described as a “male Hispanic wearing a blue hard hat and an orange vest with silver reflective stripes,” a description that appears to be off the mark.

The artist is believed to go by the street name AINAC, or Art Is Not A Crime, who has also spray painted the faces of fictional broadcaster Ron Burgundy andPresident Barack Obama. He may also be the person responsible for the “All you need is love” tag that is nearly as ubiquitous as the Lincoln image.

Update (July 28, 2014): Or not. The charges against the arrested were dismissed.


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  • debraanne64

    Glad you caught this hooligan! I feel safer already.

    • Jesse Soto

      Safe??? The guy did nothing wrong except her forgot to signal when turning. Eye roll eye roll to you.

      • GregK718

        someone obviously does not understand sarcasm

  • 1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    Isn’t the real story here that the NYPD finally pulled over a driver for a moving violation?

  • .

    Good job to the idiots of 62nd pct! The “graffiti” actually brightened up my day and was somewhat patriotic, and these fucking dumbass cops wanna go after him, with the excuse that theyre bettering the neighborhood, they should find something more productive to do…

  • Murry

    The dangerous Swans in Sheepshead Bay and now this. What is Brooklyn coming to.

  • Sean P. Fodera

    It’s not an issue of art, or whether the image was attractive or not. There is a law on the books that says no one can paint anything on public or private property without permission. It doesn’t matter if the painting is a tag, a slogan or the Mona Lisa. If the artist doesn’t have permission to paint in that location, they have broken the law. That makes them a criminal. Not a murderer or a child molester, or other significant danger to the community, but still a criminal.

    What is or isn’t “Art” is a subjective decision. The law has to be objective. It’s not up to the police to look at graffiti and say, “You know? That’s a lovely image, so it must be legal.” or “God! That’s horrible. Let’s give him life in prison.” If they catch a graffiti artist, they have to arrest the artist. The same way they should enforce all of the laws – failure to signal, jaywalking, biking the wrong way on a one-way street, littering, leaving dog poop in the streets, etc. Enforcement is a deterrent, and makes our community safer and/or simply a nicer place to live.

    The bottom line question is: why should the owners of private property have to face the expense of cleaning up unwelcome paintings from their property? No citizen is required to be a patron of the arts by permitting unwanted works on their property.

    People who do graffiti show no respect for the community or their neighbors. If they want to paint commissioned works or murals, that’s fine. Anything that doesn’t involve permission is a criminal offense, and, like every other citizen, they are subject to the penalties that go with breaking the law. If anyone thinks the penalties are too harsh, then they should band together with the many like-minded people, and petition for a change in the law. Being snarky about it doesn’t make the artist right or less guilty, or solve the problems people have about the law. (I’m almost willing to bet that most of the people who think arresting him was overkill probably aren’t property owners.)

  • Howard J Weiss


  • Artie Piscano

    I’m more shocked that the cops pulled somebody over for doing something 99pct of Brooklyn drivers do, especially Bensonhurst

    • g

      cops knew

  • PaintLife

    He was a good friend , art is not a crime wish people in New York would fucking realize that some of the best artists In the world stArted by simply painting on walls painting on canvas you call this man a criminal for what for doing what he loves for simply just showing Brooklyn and the rest of the boroughs his hidden talents. Close minded each and everyone one of you because I can bet thousands of dollars that some of you with your jobs today is not what you wanted to be 20 years ago. Let the kid paint!

    • Johnny

      Fine, I’ll stop by your home and paint my art on it. I’m sure you won’t mind and that you’ll be pleased to host my artistic expressions. Just post your address and it will be done.

  • vasya vasechkin

    NYPD can’t legally search vehicle without a warrant, or use anything what they have obtained illegally against him, so most likely he’s gonna get fine for driving with suspended license.

    • Lilly Karak

      I hope so