Police at the University of Connecticut have arrested a former student with 103 counts of criminal mischief for scrawling graffiti all over campus from December to March.
The former student — and current community organizer — is an illegal immigrant named Eric Cruz-Lopez, reports the Hartford Courant.
Some instances of the graffiti featured the words “Fuck Trump” and cartoonish faces, according to police. The capitalized word “PEST” regularly appeared as a signature.
Cruz-Lopez, 22, used paint pens and spray paint as his graffiti materials.
Police were able to identify Cruz-Lopez because security cameras — including cameras installed specifically because of the graffiti — showed that he was in the vandalized areas when the vandalism happened, according to Hartford Fox affiliate WTIC-TV.
Cruz-Lopez, 22, admitted his crimes to police, according to a police statement. He also declared that he will consider compensating the taxpayer-funded school for the damage he caused.
“I did the graffiti,” he wrote in the statement, according to the Courant. “I am open to entering into a conversation about restitution.”
Cruz-Lopez also explained that he felt so strongly opposed to Donald Trump that he could not confine his “Fuck Trump” thoughts to mere paper. (Wisconsin Students Demand Control Over Cops Because ‘F**K THE POLICE’ Graffiti Vandal Got Busted)
The total cost to remove all of Cruz-Lopez’s handiwork has amounted to $4,255, according to a UConn spokeswoman.
The UConn police department was familiar with Cruz-Lopez because he has been active in local protests against Trump.
In his day job, Cruz-Lopez works for CT Students for a Dream, “a statewide organization of DREAMers and allies that seek to empower undocumented students and their families by advocating for their rights and raising awareness about issues they face.”
An Associated Press story from February 2017 reports that Cruz-Lopez is a junior at UConn but decided to take this school year off to save money because he is prohibited from receiving government-funded financial aid.
“For me and my friends, we don’t know where the next piece of money, the next scholarship, the next $1,000 to piece together tuition from next semester is coming from,” Cruz-Lopez told the Associated Press.
State law in Connecticut allows illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition. However, illegal immigrants are not eligible for taxpayer-funded cash to subsidize the costs of higher education.
Cruz-Lopez came to the United States when he was seven years old.
He wants to be a high school math teacher, he told the Associated Press.
UConn police arrested Cruz-Lopez on May 7. He was released on his own recognizance.
He has not yet entered a plea in his criminal case.
Follow Eric on Twitter. Like Eric on Facebook. Send story tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.