October 22, 2021

One arrested, one sought for graffiti

Suspect photos provided by Cortland Police Dept, Graffiti photo by Joe McIntyre/Staff Photographer

LEFT: Jacob Vassalotti, CENTER: A graffiti tag on the Pawn Boss building in downtown Cortland. RIGHT: Second suspect

Cortland city police have made one arrest in a grime spree that began earlier this month, but are still seeking another suspect to clean up the graffiti case.

Police arrested Jacob A. Vassalotti, 21, of 51 South Ave., Cortland, at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday after they combed through video from downtown cameras and identified him, said city police Lt. Rick Troyer.

Police said Vassalotti wrote the word “spillz” in spray paint sometime during the past three months on a building and dumpster at 64 Main St., police said. Vassalotti was charged with making graffiti, a misdemeanor. He was released to appear Nov. 6 in City Court.

While police have arrested Vassalotti, they are also searching for another suspect in the case, police said.

A photo posted to the department’s Facebook page shows a second suspect, a white man in a black shirt and blue jeans, wearing a red and black ball cap. Police said most of his graffiti has been concentrated in the downtown area and his most prevalent tag is the word “SIER.”

Anyone who can identify the person is asked to contact the police department at 753-3001, ext. 0.

A lot of the graffiti began showing up over the past 10 days. First black and then dark blue. It was on downtown businesses, in city parks and even on traffic light control boxes.

Some has been at Cortland County Community Action Program Inc. at 32 N. Main St., Pawn Boss at 16 Main St. and on signs and poles downtown. Other markings have popped up at the Riverside Plaza, St. Mary’s School at 61 N. Main St., Suggett Park on Homer Avenue and Beaudry Park on Scammell Street.