Maxime Bezat, 25, of Paris, France, was caught in New Jersey before trying to board a flight back to France. He is now back in Massachusetts facing a felony charge for allegedly vandalizing this Red Line MBTA train at Alewife Station in Cambridge. Photo courtesy the MBTA.
An international graffiti vandal wanted for spray-painting Red Line trains in Cambridge was caught in New Jersey trying to leave the country and is now back in Massachusetts facing a felony charge.
According to the MBTA’s Transit Police, Bezat was arrested by authorities in New Jersey on Dec. 3 as he was about to board a flight back to his home country.
Bezat was wanted for spray-painting graffiti on Red Line trains at the Alewife Station in Cambridge on Sept. 13 and was tracked down through the efforts of the MBTA’s Transit Police Graffiti Unit, said Deputy Chief Lewis Best.
Bezat is known by authorities in Paris for vandalizing Metro trains and infrastructure there, said Best. Transit Police Lt. Detective Nancy O’Loughlin investigated the graffiti on the Red Line trains and was able to tie Bezat to the crime, police said.
The overnight vandalism to the Red Line trains caused $3,000 in damage, Best said.
“It’s still not art in our eyes,” Best said. “It can lead to a perception that an area is not safe or protected.”
Authorities said Bezat uses the tag name “RASK” and is wanted by New York City Police on multiple warrants for graffiti vandalism.
Authorities then learned Bezat was going to be on a flight back to Paris on Dec. 3 and police from New York and New Jersey took him into custody. He waived extradition and was brought back to Massachusetts, Best said.