By Anne Gonzales
The body of a convicted graffiti "tagger" was found on the pavement below a Sacramento freeway bridge Saturday. Police say he may have been spray-painting on the bridge when he fell to his death.
Andrey Petkov, 22, of North Highlands was found by a street sweeper about 11 a.m. beneath the Interstate 80 bridge east of Winters Street.
Petkov was arrested and convicted in 2009 for vandalism in the Sacramento and Roseville areas as a member of the Sacramento Graffiti Killers. He and three other suspects were arrested in connection with involvement with the group, which was accused of $80,000 in property damage in some 300 cases of tagging, according to police reports.
The men were arrested as part of an undercover sting by Roseville police. Roseville police said Petkov used the tag "nose" and "bape," while active with the Sacramento Graffiti Killers. The gang was not considered physically dangerous but was blamed for a dramatic spike in property damage to area businesses.
Law enforcement said the Sacramento Graffiti Killers, who allegedly practiced under railroad bridges in Roseville, were busted up when their key members were arrested in 2009.
The suspects - also including Corey Simpson-Upmeyer of Citrus Heights, Mikhail Russu of Roseville and Frederick Rivera-Valdivia of North Highlands - all pleaded no contest to vandalism charges and were expected to be sentenced to 90 days in jail and restitution. All four of the men were aged 19 or 20 at the time of the 2009 arrests.
Petkov was also convicted in Sacramento County in 2009 on a charge of graffiti vandalism and placed on probation for three years. He was convicted again in Sacramento County in 2011 of graffiti vandalism, according to county court records, but it isn't clear what sort of sentence he received.