PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A 22-year-old professional skateboarder surrendered to Portland police Monday to face 25 charges as one of the city’s ‘prolific taggers.’
Emile Anthony Laurent was booked into the Multnomah County Jail charged with 6 counts of first-degree criminal mischief and 19 counts of second-degree criminal mischief. He skates for the Polar Skate Company and was featured in a 2019 Nike skateboarding video.
Laurent has tagged multiple buildings and structures in the area over the last four years, using the tag “TENDO,” which investigators believe is short for Nintendo, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office said.
The tags he’s accused of doing caused about $20,000 in damage at a variety of locations throughout the city:
- The Oregon Leather Company off Southwest 2nd Avenue; Embassy Suites off Southwest 3rd Avenue; American Medical Response off Southwest 2nd Avenue; Home Forward off Southwest 10th Avenue; Public Storage off North Gantenbein Avenue; Adaptive Construction off North Hancock Street; Sherwin Williams off North Russell Street; Central City Concern off Northwest Davis Street; Food cart pod off Southwest Ankeny Street; Portland General Electric off Southeast Division; FE Bennett off Northeast Broadway Street; Bartur Foods off Southeast 10th Avenue; Oregon Department of Transportation property at various locations; and City of Portland property in various locations.
The damage at the AMR location alone was estimated at $6000. The DA’s office said a lot of of the City of Portland property damage was in close proximity to where Laurent lived.
“We will not allow Portland to be marred by graffiti and vandalism. I hope those responsible for defacing our city are held accountable for the damage caused. I want to thank Portland police for their work to investigate and apprehend the suspect,” tweeted Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.
Authorities launched the investigation in February 2022. His residence was searched in late spring. The investigation was then prosecuted by the Strategic Prosecution and Services Unit that handles “a relatively small share of offenders that make up a significant share of low-level crimes in Multnomah County,” the DA’s office said. The unit’s data estimates “13% of offenders account for 41% of crimes like vandalism, motor vehicle theft, robbery, and similar offenses.”
The effects of the tags
Cleaning up graffiti in Portland is Robert Barrie’s full-time job.
“I’ve been an Oregonian since 1979. This is my city,” Barrie told KOIN 6 News. “Keeping the city clean and getting it back to where people want to come to Portland, visit and spend their tourist dollars here, we’re doing the best we can to try and keep up.”
Greg Ackerman, who works at FE Bennett in Northeast Portland, understands Barrie’s problem. He said Laurent recently tagged their building — along with many other vandals.
“I look every day, Monday through Friday,” Ackerman said. “Every morning I get here I walk around the building to see if there’s a new tag.”
FE Bennett is a small business with only 4 employees. The damage allegedly caused by Laurent’s tagging cost about $2700 to repair.
The incessant tagging on their building, he said, is time consuming, laborious and bad for business.
“I covered it up right away,” he said.
KOIN 6 News reached out to both Polar Skate Company and Nike for comment. At this time, neither has responded.