“Bird God” Strikes Again

“Bird God” Strikes Again
Graffiti by Denis Shelagin on January 23. Rachel Baron/Bklyner

Bird God is back, and he’s got lots to say. The new messages, scribbled just a few feet below where the original message was and has since been scrubbed from, read: “If you cripple or kill any more of my birds then I will annihilate you in this next CARTEL WAR.” Another threatens that anyone who messes with “we birds” will face “nazi style human torture extreme.”

Denis Shelagin, the man who was arrested for tagging the arch at Grand Army Plaza with the phrase “Bird God” in broad daylight on December 29, has committed another offense. This morning, at roughly 7:30 a.m., Bklyner observed more haunting messages, scrawled in almost the exact same spot. NYPD has confirmed Shelagin as the culprit.

NYPD reported that the graffiti was first observed at approximately 6:28 a.m. today. Shelagin used a ladder to elevate himself alongside the arch, where he used a black marker to write the message.

Shelagin has been charged with making graffiti, criminal mischief, and possession of a graffiti instrument – the exact same charges as his first arrest, with the exception of grand larceny and possession of stolen property. NYPD informed us that he will be released today from the 78th precinct jail and given a date to appear in court.

Shelagin is 36 years old and is originally from Spokane Valley, Washington, according to the New York Post. His first arrest for graffiti took place on Sunday, December 29, when he commandeered a cherry picker to spray paint “Bird God” on the arch at around noon, the Post reported. Shelagin was unable to lower the cherry picker himself, and was eventually brought down by police, who proceeded to arrest him.

Footage of the incident was posted to social media by several people who witnessed the incident taking place, including the person with the account @erikjonesart:

Shelagin told authorities that he had committed the crime because his great-great-grandfather had written him a letter in 1960 ordering him to do so, according to a second Post article published the day after the incident.

“People are killing pigeons and chopping their feet up and I had to bring awareness to that,” the criminal complaint stated. Shelagin was afraid of what was going to happen to him if he didn’t follow through with the order.

For his first arrest, Shelagin was released without bail at his arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court on Monday, December 30, and was due back in court on March 20. NYPD did not confirm whether or not the new charges would affect this court date.

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