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Citizen Crosswalk Painter Arrested

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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A California man has been arrested after painting an unauthorized crosswalk at a busy intersection near his home.

Anthony Cardenas, 52, of Vallejo, CA, says the intersection of Sonoma Boulevard (State Route 29) and Illinois Street is dangerous, and he decided to paint a crosswalk there after seeing several people get hit.

"I thought, 'They have to do something there, or I'm going to have to do something,'" Cardenas told The Reporter.

"Even me, I almost got hit a couple of times. I would go out in the street and cars ... they wouldn't stop."

Vallejo crosswalk arrest
Photos: NewsCatcher31

Saying an intersection near his house in Vallejo is dangerous, Anthony Cardenas took matters into his own hands by painting a crosswalk. He was later arrested for suspicion of felony vandalism.

Felony Vandalism

The intersection already had three legal crosswalks.

Cardenas said he previously reported his concerns about the intersection to public works officials, but nothing was done. Police disagreed.

"Traffic division said there hadn't been any pedestrian-involved collisions in that area, so they're not sure what safety-related issues he was referring to," Vallejo Police Lt. John Whitney told NewsCatcher31.

Cardenas demonstrated to NewsCatcher31 how easily a pedestrian could get hit in the intersection he painted.

Last year, Cardenas said he painted a crosswalk in the same location, but crews removed it. After that, he fled to Los Angeles to avoid arrest.

However, this time he was not as lucky, and police showed up at his house on Thursday morning (May 30) to arrest him on suspicion of felony vandalism. He was booked into Solano County jail, and bail was set at $15,000.

"He admitted freely that he had painted the crosswalk and he'd done what he thought was correct for the neighborhood," Vallejo Police Sgt. Herman Robinson told ABC7 News.

Neighbors React

Cardenas said an anonymous person bailed him out Friday (May 31) afternoon.

Solano County prosecutors are reviewing the case to decide what charges to file, and Cardenas was set to be arraigned Tuesday (June 4).

Vallejo Police Department

Transportation officials removed the paint, but said it would cost an additional $1,000 to fix the intersection that Cardenas painted.

"He does nothing but try to do good," Vanessa Arriola, who works at a hair salon across the street, told The Reporter.

"He's a total sweetheart. He is always helping out. We have a special place in our heart for him, because we have a business here, and we're all women, and we get out very late ... He will walk us out to our cars and make sure everything's fine. ... This is a very bad street."

State transportation workers painted over the crosswalk later the same day. The police department said it would cost about $1,000 for the California Department of Transportation to repair the intersection.


Tagged categories: Roads/Highways; Vandalism

Comment from josh hutcheson, (6/5/2013, 7:06 AM)

no good deed goes unpunished

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