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Pothole Picasso: Jamestown man charged after highlighting potholes

Posted at 6:44 PM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-13 19:10:26-04

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WKBW) — One Chautauqua County man is on a mission to make his neighborhood safer. But that mission left him in trouble with the law.

"I do something to help the people out...and I've gotta deal with this? I'm getting to the point I can't take it anymore," said Tim Luke.

He's lived in the Brookside Estates Mobile Park since 1985 and over the years he's seen the roads deteriorate. He's complained for years but the damage just keeps getting worse. He's worried about neighborhood children and drivers getting hurt.

"The other morning I just got sick and tired of it and I just decided to take some white paint, go right around the edge of the pothole, to make it visible, so no one gets hurt," said Luke.

Now neighbors are calling him 'Pothole Picasso'. It took him more than an hour, he continued until he ran out of paint.

Days later, Sheriff's deputies knocked on his door and handed him a court appearance ticket. Park managers called police and asked to press charges, according to the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office.

"The charges were for criminal mischief and for damage done to the pavement by putting the paint on there," said Sheriff James B. Quattrone.

If convicted, Luke could have to pay a fine and at worst, spend time in jail, according to Sheriff Quattrone. This is part of an ongoing dispute between tenants and park managers.

"Everyday is a new issue in here. No matter who we complain to, we can file the complaint all we want to. All we do is get retaliated against," said Brandi Bartlow, President of the park's Tenant's Association.

7 Eyewitness News reached out to the property managers for a comment and have not yet heard back.

The Sheriff's Office is in talks with the District Attorney's Office to work through the situation and make sure appropriate actions are taken.

At the end of the day, Luke is still concerned about what's next for the roads.

"I don't know what to do. I was hoping there was somebody in this world who would help," said Luke.