Banksy vandal opens up about Park City cases
November 18, 2014
David Noll in late 2013 was homeless, freezing cold and without a coat, a desperate person, when he traveled to Park City.
He cannot recall if he was in Park City for just a day or for a longer amount of time.
Months later, Noll admitted vandalizing a Banksy artwork along Main Street and attempting to get to another one while he was in Park City around New Year’s, pleading guilty to a felony count stemming from the damage. A 3rd District Court judge on Monday sentenced him to up to five years in prison but suspended the sentence. Judge Todd Shaughnessy also ordered him to pay restitution to the two building owners, estimated at between $9,000 and $12,000.
Speaking at length with reporters afterward, Noll, who is from California, described his thinking as he arrived in Park City to target the Banksy pieces and a range of other topics. His comments to the reporters were the most detailed that he has offered since the vandalism occurred.
He said he did not have a preference when he considered which Banksy pieces to target, saying Park City was not selected for a specific reason.
"I don’t have anything against people in Park City. I mean, it’s a nice little town," Noll said.
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He said the people in Park City were nice while he was in Park City. One man talked to him about a cat, Noll said. He said he remains confused about what occurred given the niceness of the people of Park City. It was a "childish" act, he said.
"I feel responsible and I feel terrible about it. You know, like, I feel guilt, and regret and sadness over it. And I feel I’m now able to empathize with the people that, you know, lost their property, you know . . . ," he said. "At the time it was difficult to think about, like these people, you know, lost their thing. I was thinking about myself . . . I just feel empathy for them and I would say I also feel sympathy for them. I am owning up to it."
Noll, who is an artist, pointed to the masters Caravaggio and Peter Paul Rubens as two of his heroes. He brought with him an image of the Banksy angel boy he vandalized as it looked prior to the damage, displaying it for the reporters. The angel boy is located on a garage just off Main Street. Noll said he would have assisted in the restoration of the piece.
"I wanted to try to help the restoration when it was going on, but, you know, that got jobbed out to someone else. And I’m sure they probably wouldn’t want me near it," he said, adding, "If you guys still need help, I’d be willing to help."
Noll, meanwhile, spoke about his mental health issues in broad terms. He said he is being treated and he had not committed crimes of the level of the Park City cases before.
"Personally I like his work. You know what I mean? And that’s why, to me, it was so confusing that I would even do that. Now that I’m under medication it’s like I like his work, you know, and I have, but, like, what went wrong in my brain to, like, make me want to do that, you know. It’s still a mystery to me. And I only remember, like, little patches of it."