Banksy Arrested In London, Identity Revealed

Banksy arrested and identity revealed

London Police Chief Wayne Leppard speaking to reporters about the arrest of Banksy.

London, England — The England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter that for years has gone by the pseudonymous name of Banksy, was arrested early this morning by police in London. After hours of questioning and a raid of his London art studio, his true name and identity have finally been revealed.

The City of London Police say Banksy’s real name is Paul William Horner, a 39-year old male born in Bristol, England. The BBC has also confirmed this information with his PR agent Jo Brooks and the website that acts as a handling service on behalf of the artist, Pest Control.

London Police Chief Wayne Leppard held a press conference to answer questions about how Banksy was finally apprehended. “We had a 24-hour Anti-Graffiti Task Force monitoring different groups known to have associated with Banksy. We received word that around 2am a group of individuals left a flat speculated to be one of Banky’s art studios. This group was followed by agents and once vandalism had occurred, we then arrested the group, 5 men total. These individuals all had ID on them except for one, and that is the one we believed to be Banksy,” Leppard said. “We then raided the studio where this group was last seen leaving from. Inside we found thousands of dollars of counterfeit money along with future projects of vandalism. We also found a passport and ID of a Paul William Horner who matched the description of the man that we are currently holding.” Leppard continued, “Horner is currently being held without bail on charges of vandalism, conspiracy, racketeering and counterfeiting. We are also holding the other four individuals whose names we are not releasing at this time.”


After today’s arrest it is unclear who else will be sought in connection with Banksy’s arrest. CNN spoke with Kyle Brock who is a project manager for Banksy says he is now worried that charges could be brought against him also. “If they spent this many man-hours and brought this many charges against Banksy, I can’t imagine that he’ll be the only one to go down in all of this,” Brock said. “All the beauty Paul Horner brought to this world, and the London Police can only see it as vandalism. It’s such a shame.”

The graffiti artist that goes by the name Space Invader told reporters he does not agree with the arrest or outing of Banksy’s identity. “He’s just doing art. That’s what he was doing and that’s what he’ll continue to do,” Invader said. “For the London Police to setup some 24-hour task force just to catch Banksy is ridiculous. I hope we hear plenty of noise from the good tax-paying citizens of London about this.”

Banksy’s identity was long speculated to be Robin Gunningham, a man born in Bristol, England in 1973. Known for his contempt for the government in labeling graffiti as vandalism, Banksy displays his art on public walls and even going as far as to build physical prop pieces. He does not sell his work directly; however, art auctioneers have been known to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder.

As soon as news of the arrest was made, the City of London Police say they began receiving dozens of phone calls from people either claiming to be Banksy, or claiming to be with him. As of 6 PM London time, hundreds of people were gathered outside the London Police Department chanting “I’m Banksy!” and holding signs demanding his release. Various local news stations have reported witnessing the crowd parting for a blind woman who attempted to turn herself into authorities claiming that she was in fact the real Banksy.

London Police say they are not releasing any pictures of Horner or any further information at this time.

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I am Banksy! Help the cause! Get “I’m Banksy!” decoy hoodies, shirts, stickers, and more, click here!

[Updated 02-24-13] Banksy’s arrest in London has been outed as a hoax perpetrated by none other than actor Christopher Walken, click here.

Bill Murray Catches Bank Robber In Tokyo, Accidentally

Bob Harris or Bill Murray stopped a robbery in Tokyo

Bill Murray stopped a bank robbery in Tokyo today when a fan stopped to talk with him. That fan also happened to be the bank robber.

Tokyo, Japan — A bank robber was apprehended today in Tokyo after stopping to talk with none other than Bill Murray. “The man robbed the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, ran out, saw Bill Murray walking on the street and stopped to talk to him. That’s when authorities were able to apprehend him,” Tokyo Police Chief Hideyoshi Mori told reporters.

Bill Murray who is in Tokyo promoting a new movie told reporters about the incident. “I saw this man in the street running towards me with a bag in his hand. Then he suddenly stopped when he saw me. He asked me if I was Bob Harris, the character I played in Lost in Translation. I told him, ‘sure, why not’. Then he started telling me how much he loved me and how great he thought I was. I was polite, I told him that was very nice of him to say. Then kind of out of nowhere, police showed up and tackled the man,” Murray said. “Some people might call me a hero, but I’m no hero. The real heroes today are the men and women of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.”

34-year-old American Paul Horner who is in Tokyo on business was at the bank when the robbery happened. “I was just standing behind this guy waiting for my turn. Then suddenly he starts waving around a knife demanding money I think, my Japanese is mediocre at best. So they fill this man’s bag with whatever was in one of the registers and then he runs out the door,” Horner said. “I’m not shaken up about the robbery at all, I’m pretty much a foot or two taller than all the people over here, so I thought it was kind of like a really cute bank robbery if that’s possible. What I am shaken up about is that Bill Murray was the one who stopped this guy and I didn’t get a chance to meet him.” Horner continued, “Bill Murray is my personal hero and today he was an actual hero for the city of Tokyo. What a cool guy.”

“We love Bill Murray very much in our country, he is very funny man,” said Tomi Tanaka who is manager of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. “Tomorrow, we are giving Mr. Murray an award with very big ceremony. It will be very excellent, everyone in Tokyo is invited.”

The robber, who’s name has not been released yet, was apprehended and taken into police custody. On his person police found a knife and a bag filled with 4,550,00.00 Japanese Yen, or about 5,000.00 USD.

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