‘Drone’ Street Artist Arrested for ‘Drone’ Street Art

Remember Essam, the street artist we interviewed about the spoof NYPD drone ads he posted around Manhattan back in September? Well, he was arrested on Wednesday after the police raided his apartment. Although his face and voice were obscured in the video we made, according to the Daily News‘ “sources,” it’s partly ANIMAL’s fault:

“The meaning of the drone campaign for me its really about creating a conversation,” Attia apparently said in an Animalnewyork.com interview, his face cast in shadows and his voice disguised to protect his identity.

In the interview, the self-described photographer and street artist — who boasts a military background — discussed his fears for a Big Brother-like police spying initiative.

Despite his efforts to remain anonymous, the video and other evidence led investigators in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the NYPD to identify the alleged prankster as a local artist, sources said.

By “other evidence,” we assume they mean that the moniker he signed the posters with, “Essam,” was also his real first name, a clue that was presumably more incriminating than the video. The tabloid also reported that he was charged with “56 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, grand larceny possession of stolen property and weapons possession.”

When reached by phone, he didn’t want to divulge much as it could affect his case, but did say that the pistol they found was an antique.

(Photo: @Jay Shells)