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Graffiti Taggers Attack Homeless Woman In San Jose

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- Tagging has always been an eyesore, but it became downright dangerous for a woman in San Jose.

Ava Alonzo,  who identifies as a female, says she was savagely attacked by two men who were actively tagging a wall near her homeless camp on the sidewalk of North Fifth Street.

She said she was attacked "Because of the tagging. I asked them to stop. You know I got involved in something that I didn't think was that big a deal."


She said she intervened partly for selfish reasons, explaining that she did not want to get blamed for the mess and be forced to move.

The taggers hit Alonzo multiple times with a large bicycle lock attached to a rope.

Alonzo said she had to get stitches on her elbow following the attack.

"That made them mad I guess that I had the nerve to tell them not to do what they do," she said.

Turns out taggers were running rampant. Two hours earlier and just a block away at San Jose City Hall the walls around the main plaza were hit for the fourth straight week.

And across the street at Fourth Street Pizza, fresh tags covered the length of two buildings.

"This is the largest tags we've ever had," said Fourth Street Pizza owner Rich Daly, who is frustrated that there seems to be no stopping it.

"It was definitely aggressive and for no one to see it at that time of night seems impossible," Daly said.

Surveillance cameras captured a group of taggers from across the plaza last week but even after this happened, no one at City Hall stepped up patrols to stop the repeat offenders.

At a ceremony in the same City Hall plaza, Mayor Sam Liccardo said San Jose can't afford to put security or police officers on graffiti watch and will focus on removing tags as soon as possible.

"We're going to continue to get the graffiti off the walls as quickly as it's put on. And we're going to make sure we keep doing it and we're going to tire them out," Liccardo said.

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