Ocean City spray painter is a public health hazard

While performance artists at the Inner Harbor do highlight the First Amendment right to freedom of expression, the recent arrest of a spray painter there is a bad example ("Policing performance art," Sept. 20).

I live in Ocean City, and my wife has a business near where Mark Chase, the man recently arrested for trespassing at the Inner Harbor, "performs" while spray painting signs for money.

He is a public health hazard. He creates a paint-fume cloud that extends in a 30-foot perimeter around his work area. That work area is in a heavily traveled space beside Ocean City's boardwalk.

While Mr. Chase wears a mask, the people who watch him paint, and pedestrians passing by, do not. I've seen mothers stricken as they enter this paint-fume cloud with infants in strollers. People with allergies or suffering from pulmonary disease are also distressed by these fumes.

Where's OSHA when you need them? Of course, if he were a proper business, he'd be cited immediately.

Mr. Chase also blares mind-numbing techno music that thumps at high volume through nearby residences in Ocean City from dusk to midnight. But if you ask him to lower the volume, he'll tell you it's part of his "art."

I say the officer who busted him in Baltimore did a good job, and so will the lawyer who finally strips him of his First Amendment fig leaf defense.

Robert Harmony, Ocean City

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