Suspected Mariner Boulevard graffitti vandal arrested

- Hernando deputies say they have arrested a serial vandal, who plagued an entire neighborhood in Spring Hill.

Dakota Wedgren is charged with 18 counts of criminal mischief after his tag was found on numerous things in the area around Mariner Boulevard and County Line Road.

No electrical box, garbage can, or storefront was safe.

Starting March 28th and continuing for a month, deputies say they got eighteen calls from businesses, truck drivers, road crews, the electric company and letter carriers that M-E Me was scrawled all over.

"It makes people not want to live there, it makes them think they are in a bad element, or that they need to move," said Ryan Kramer, whose parents live off Mariner Blvd.

"It ends up costing people a lot of time and energy and money," said Hernando Co. Sheriff Al Nienhuis.

Even after it was painted over, like behind this Publix, the mysterious "Me" would show up again.

"It is not funny, it is not cool, it is frustrating, and it is definitely a crime," said Nienhuis.

A tip to a school resource deputy led them to Dakota Wedgren, 18, of Spring Hill.
He allegedly showed deputies how he made the tag.

"It was a unique pattern," said Nienhuis.

Wedgren allegedly admitted he was behind the "Me" tags, saying he recently moved from New York and was depressed because he missed home.
"There are a lot of constructive ways to blow off steam," said Nienhuis. "It is absolutely no excuse."

Even though most of the tags have been painted over, a few still linger for passing cars or pedestrians, even as Wedgren remains in jail.
"It is really sad that society has come down to that where you are defacing public property," said Kramer. "I hope that maybe if he needs any kind of assistance, it's there."

He is being held on a $28,000 bond.

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