2012-04-11 / Front Page

Cops Nab Two OWS Subway Vandals

By LIZ GOFF

Police arrested two Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters on April 5 for vandalizing subways throughout the city.
Cops said the pair were part of a team of OWS protesters who last week claimed responsibility for acts of vandalism at more than 20 subway stations.
Protesters took credit on March 28 for chaining open gates at the stations, including the Steinway Street station in Queens, where they passed out flyers reading, “Free Entry” that mimicked MTA service announcement flyers.
Jeffrey Brewer, 34, and Aaron Minter, 40, were spotted in a segment on NY1 on March 4, where they allowed a news team to follow them as they vandalized subway stations, police said.
Minter, who has a history of arrests for burglary and menacing, gave the TV crew a fictitious last name during the segment, police said. But detectives were able to use the footage to identify Minter and track down the two vandals.
Police said teams of the lawbreakers hit subway stations at about 5 a.m. on March 28, handing out the flyers that called for a “general strike” on May 1.
“No homework. No shopping. No banking. No school. No work,” the flyers read. At the same time, members sent a communique via Twitter from the “Rank and File Initiative” that claimed responsibility for the subway vandalism.
The statement read, “This morning before rush hour, teams of activists, many from Occupy Wall Street, in conjunction with rank and file workers from the Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the Amalgamated Transit Union opened up more than 20 stations…for free entry.
“No property was damaged,” the statement declared. “Teams have chained open service gates and taped up turnstiles in a coordinated response to escalating service cuts, fare hikes, racist policing and assaults on transit workers working conditions and livelihoods.”
Law enforcement sources said heavy chains with padlocks were discovered on the gates of two stations in Queens–an open invitation for straphangers to ride free.
Sources said investigators are trying to determine if transit workers were involved in the vandalism.
Minter and Brewer were charged with criminal mischief, making graffiti and possession of graffiti instruments.
Police are asking anyone with information on the remaining subway vandals to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS or click on www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

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