Mystery Man battles graffiti in a Tucson neighborhood

Posted: Updated:

Among the peaceful surroundings of Tucson's West University Neighborhood are splashes of graffiti.

"Graffiti is a blight, said Balfour Walker, a West University Neighborhood business owner. "Graffiti is against private property ownership."

"And often you'll notice that they'll walk up a street and they'll tag numerous buildings," said Anne Sawyer, a neighborhood resident.

Their frustration is easy to sense, but someone in the neighborhood decided about five years ago to take matters into their own hands.

"Shortly after a tag appears, it is often covered up with brown paint," Sawyer said.

The blotches of brown are quite literally everywhere - you can find them on walls, abandoned buildings and alongside businesses.

The mystery man doesn't bother to color match.

"Instead of having graffiti, they have a big brown thing on it, or whatever color he gets," Walker said.

Balfour Walker's building was tagged last week, then painted over with brown, that's what made him angry.

"So I wrote a little note on the brown," Walker said. "I said, please use the right color."

Walker's note asks the man with the brown paint to call him. Well, Wednesday afternoon, Walker received a call from the mystery man's wife.

"She feels that her husband is dedicated to getting rid of the graffiti, which is nice, except that he just uses anything that he can get," Walker said.

Walker just wishes he had used white to paint over his graffiti, but according to the mystery man's wife, Walker's wish will soon be granted.

"She says, if you can leave some paint out, the right color, he'll use that paint," Walker said. "Ok, I think we can work with this."

Meanwhile, the "Mystery Man" called FOX 11 News Wednesday night. He says if he didn't cover up the graffiti, the neighborhood would look even worse because the city doesn't do enough to fight the problem.

As for why he uses the brown paint; he says the goal is to erase the graffiti as quickly as possible. It's up to the property owners to cover it with the correct color.