'Hollyweed' Sign Vandal Arrested
On Monday, Zachary Cole Fernandez (also known as artist "Jesus Hands") was arrested for a prank wherein he temporarily altered the Hollywood Sign to read "Hollyweed" on New Year's Day.
Fernandez, who voluntarily surrendered to Hollywood detectives with his attorney at his side, was arrested for trespassing but not vandalism, as the sign was not actually damaged during the prank. Fernandez merely wrapped several of the iconic letters in tarp to temporarily change their appearance. According to an LAPD press release, Fernandez was booked on a misdemeanor trespassing offense and will be released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to appear in court on February 15.
Fernandez had previously taken responsibility for the prank last Tuesday, when he told Vice that he—along with fellow artist Sarah Fern—had spent two hours pulling off the stunt on January 1. Fernandez told Vice that the sign switcheroo was "about being and staying youthful and living in the purest form.”
“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," City Councilman David Ryu, who represents the area, said in a press release after the arrest.
In fact, Fernandez's prank wasn't even the first time the sign was rebranded as "Hollyweed." The world-famous sign was first transformed to read "Hollyweed" way back in 1976, when Danny Finegood, then a young art student at Cal State Northridge, once hiked up to the sign with $50 worth of fabric and some friends and pulled a prank of his own. Here's what it looked like then: