Shortly after the dawn of 2017, Los Angeles residents awoke to a bright, new, marijuana-infused future with some homemade alterations made to the famous Hollywood sign. Now, the vandal behind the transformation has been arrested.
It's unclear if Zach Fernandez changed the famous lettering to read "HOLLYWeeD" on New Year's Eve or early New Year's Day, but either way he fled the city shortly thereafter.
The LA Times reports that Fernandez surrendered himself to the LAPD yesterday afternoon and was released on $1,000 bail. Fernandez had previously bragged to Vice about the stunt, saying that he was inspired to bring joy to people after the election and wanted to celebrate California's new policies on weed possession: "Any way I can bring positivity into the world, or guide or steer people away from the negativity or bad parts of life, even if it's a little bit risky, I'm down. I just want to make sure the message is clear. It's about being and staying youthful and living in the purest form. I think this project really allowed me to express that."
He went on to claim that the joke was inspired by Daniel Finegood, a Cal State Northridge student who had done the same thing back in 1976.
“The Hollywood Sign has seen many alteration attempts over the years for people seeking notoriety or commercial gain,” Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu 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.”
The Hollywood sign was not damaged. Fernandez will appear in court on February 15th.