'Gotta Commit Murder' Graffiti Upsets Fresno Drivers

A huge sign on a Fresno highway interchange made a lot of drivers upset.

It wasn't your typical freeway sign, it was graffiti that riled up many in our community.

Some people were so upset, they were ready to clean it up themselves.

What many drivers saw while driving down Highway 180 Sunday afternoon was a huge, spray-painted message reading, "gotta commit murder."

"This is our city, our community, we can't let stuff like that devalue our community at all," said Reggie DeLeon.

He says he wasn't going to sit back and wait for someone else to clean it up.

"I said hey, if that's not done by the time I get off work, I'm going to buy a can of paint and start painting over it and hopefully people will follow me.{} A lot of my friends were supportive, ready to get some paint brushes and paint a go out there and paint over it if we had to," said DeLeon.

They didn't have to - the graffiti was gone by 8 a.m. Monday morning.

"Something like that is not tolerated and we would take action right away," said Gloria Rodriguez, a spokesperson for Caltrans.

Caltrans says it spends hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in taxpayer money cleaning up graffiti like on Valley highways.

Caltrans says it took two employees, one hour and 5 gallons of paint to clean up Sunday's incident.

"Graffiti is an enormous problem up and down California, we spend millions of dollars cleaning up graffiti, that can otherwise be spent building and maintaining highways," said Rodriguez.

It's not unusual to see graffiti along the highway, but something like so large and bold, that's something some drivers say, they won't let happen again.

"Hey you put something up, people here in the city aren't going to allow that to happen. They're going to take it down, whether the local government cleans it up or we do it ourselves," said DeLeon.

Caltrans has a team of workers assigned to cleaning up graffiti.

The Valley office spends about $36,000 a year on paint, and workers remove about 1,200 square feet of graffiti from highway structures, every day.

Caltrans says, it hopes drivers will be proactive in catching taggers as well and urges people to call 911 if they see anything suspicious going on, on the side of the freeways.