Does Cool Trump Illegal?

Joseph Carnevale, a North Carolina State student, carved up and painted three of those orange and white construction barrels to create what is arguably a pretty cool piece of street art. I’d commission him to make me a copy to place on the shore at the cottage, but Kim has just about reached her tolerance level for my taste in art. Still, my boys would love it.

Anyway, it turns out he didn’t exactly have permission to use the barrels. He just sorta copped them from a local construction site in a fit of creative insanity. And now the kid’s been arrested. Strangely, even the company he swiped the barrels from doesn’t want him charged. In fact, they have asked him to build another barrel monster for them to keep, since the police dismantled the original and hauled it away for evidence.

The local cops are having none of it. For some reason, they need to make an example of this kid, and intend to prosecute.

Now there’s no arguing that what Carnevale did was somehow legal. And the construction company would certainly be within their rights to demand damages (in this case, about $300 for the barrels), or even Carnevale’s arrest. However, the victim of this crime is feeling amused, not abused. I could certainly even see the public interest of nipping a young criminal in the bud, but this is hardly the work of an up and coming serial thief or vandal. He took art supplies without permission. Technically theft and destruction of property I suppose, but it seems there are enough mitigating circumstances here to warrant a slightly different remediation plan.

Did I mention how cool it was?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *