Authorities have arrested a man suspected of altering the iconic Hollywood sign so that it read “Hollyweed” on January 1.
Thirty-year-old Zachary Cole Fernandez voluntarily surrendered to Hollywood detectives, with his attorney at his side, yesterday, authorities said. He was booked on suspicion of trespassing.
An artist of the same name told Vice magazine that he and his wife were behind the early morning prank on New Year’s Day. Authorities said the sign wasn’t damaged, so vandalism was not being considered as a possible charge. The sign was back to normal later that day.
Fernandez was booked and released yesterday. City Councilman David Ryu says his constituents in the hills were not happy with the stunt.
“The Hollywood Sign has seen many alteration attempts over the years for people seeking notoriety or commercial gain,’ he said in a statement. “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.”
He wants prosecutors to go for the jugular and prosecute the suspect for alleged vandalism.
“While the Hollywood Sign is an internationally recognized icon, it is located in a large urban wilderness park next to thousands of residential homes,” Ryu said. “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.”
Fernandez was due in court Feb. 15.