Ex-cop Steven Weinberg believed to be ‘Neo’, one of New York’s most prolific graffiti artists
‘Neo’ has been painting New York’s subways for the last 30 years, with his tag having been found on 16 different train lines throughout the city. Having been searching for the culprit since the 1980s, the NYPD has made a startling discovery – that NYC’s most notorious graffiti artist may in fact have once been one of their own!
Steven Weinberg has been identified as the graffiti artist who goes by the name ‘Neo’, a man who retired from the New York Police Department in 2001 after a leg injury in the line of duty. His injury was the result of a fall during a homicide pursuit that left him with serious nerve damage.
There is, however, something fishy about this accusation. Weinberg admits that he once dabbled in street art, but swears that he stopped doing graffiti in 1995 when he joined the police as a patrolman. Weinberg’s injury to his leg, for which he receives $38,000 per year in disability pay-offs from the NYPD, further complicates matters. A post by ‘Neo’ on a graffiti-makers website clained that he started tagging in Flushing, Queens in 1978, and boasted that ‘Climbing on rooftops, swinging from elevated platforms, and almost getting hit by trains pulling out, is what I call fun’.
But, in the words of Weinberg’s lawyer, patrick Broderick, the accusation is ‘ludicrous because he [Weinberg] is physically incapable of doing that’. Weinberg walks with a walking stick, and has done since his accident in 2001. He has filed a counter-suit against the City, saying his arrest was based off ‘defective information’.
But the NYPD insist that they have more than enough proof that Weinberg is the graffiti artist Neo. The truth will have to wait to be seen, with his trial beginning on Thursday.