Train-stopping graffiti artist nabbed after 13-year hunt



Spanish police have inflicted a major blow to an underground network of graffiti artists by arresting one of its most sought-after members. Police accuse ‘David SE’ of causing more than 31,000 euros worth of damage since he started ‘tagging’ trains back in 1995. He has claimed a large fan base for pioneering a method known as the ‘palancazo’ on public transport, or stopping a train by pulling an emergency handle. This footage, released Tuesday, shows one such ‘palancazo’ in full swing on the Madrid metro.



Video courtesy of Spanish police


Once the train is stopped, the graffitists – often hooded and camouflaged – have a maximum 15 minutes to spray-paint the carriages: that’s the time it takes the driver to get the train running again. Often, they stop the trains close to emergency exits or ventilation shafts in order to make a quick getaway. Groups of graffitists then use social networks to showcase their work and organise meet-ups all over Spain, and even abroad.