Online Exclusive

Street Artist Attacks Calif. Officer With Broom

A well-known street artist whose artwork has been a fixture around Coronado was jailed after he used one of the tools of his trade against a police officer.

Alberto Avilla, known in and around Coronado as the "Sandman" for his creative drawings using sand, was arrested last Thursday after he was caught riding his bike in the business district, which is prohibited in the city of Coronado.

According to Coronado police, a special enforcement detail was citing bicycle riders riding on the sidewalk when Avilla refused to stop. According to police, a short chase ensued and Avilla took a broom that he uses in his artwork and struck an officer.

"I've talked to him many times and I have four children and they always yell 'Mr. Sandman!' and wave at him. I think he's harmless," said Coronado resident Cristen Hollenbeck.

Avilla was booked for obstruction and battery on a police officer, which is a felony.

However, during an arraignment at the County Courthouse in Chula Vista Monday, charges were reduced to a misdemeanor. Avilla pleaded guilty to resisting or delaying a police officer and was ordered to pay a fine as well as submit to three years probation and anger management classes.

Copyright 2011 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.