Hollywood, CA: Person who changed the iconic Hollywood Sign to read “Hollyweed” on New Year’s Day 2017 voluntarily surrendered and arrested.
The person who changed the iconic Hollywood Sign to read “Hollyweed” on New Year’s Day 2017 voluntarily surrendered at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Station in Hollywood, California at around 12:00pm PT on Monday, January 9th, 2017.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, 30 year old Zachary Cole Fernandez voluntarily surrendered to detectives with his attorney at his side and was arrested and booked for 602 PC/Trespass, a misdemeanor.
Zachary Cole Fernandez is eligible and will be released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 at the Criminal Courts Building, Division 40. in Downtown Los Angeles, California.
On Sunday, January 1st, 2017, people waking up in Hollywood, California were surprised to find the iconic Hollywood Sign changed to read “Hollyweed”.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, at around 12:00am PT New Year’s Day, security cameras captured a lone man climbing the fence that guards the sign.
The lone man placed 2 tarps over the “O’s” in Hollywood transforming the sign to read “Hollyweed.”
Afterwards, the lone man climbed back over the fence and fled.
In a statement, Hollywood Sign Trust President Chris Baumgart said additional surveillance in the area will be in place at the Hollywood Sign.
“The Hollywood Sign surveillance system is constantly evolving, but an incident like the one that occurred early Sunday morning shows us where there are opportunities to make improvements. The New Year’s prank was no exception and we will be deploying additional technology to tighten up surveillance, thus deter unwanted visitors in the future. This is more than preventing pranks or trespassing at the sign. Our concern is the safety of the neighborhood and the trespassers that put themselves at risk because it is extremely unsafe to be on the sign, let alone traversing the treacherous hillside that is home to those nine famous letters,” said Hollywood Sign Trust President Chris Baumgart.
After hearing of the incident and subsequent arrest, Los Angeles City Councilmember David E. Ryu said,“The Hollywood Sign has seen many alteration attempts over the years for people seeking notoriety or commercial gain. Pranks of this nature deplete the resources of our valuable public safety personnel, in both responding to the prank and in responding to the increased crowds and copycat attempts that these incidents generate. My office has urged the City Attorney and LAPD to investigate and prosecute this case as well as all attempts to trespass near, alter, or vandalize the Sign. While the Hollywood Sign is an internationally recognized icon, it is located in a large urban wilderness park next to thousands of residential homes. My office takes the safety of residents and visitors very seriously, and we will continue to coordinate and advocate for traffic control measures and safety efforts throughout the areas next to the Sign.”
** Picture from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4. **