For the second time this year, the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip has once again been vandalized.
On Friday , Dec. 18 police say 69-year-old Joseph Pepitone, wearing his trademark barrel and a red Santa cap, splattered red and black paint on the most visible part of the iconic sign at Las Vegas Blvd. and Russell Rd..
This vandalism was more visible than the incident earlier this year which basically caused damaged to the bottom of the sign. Clark County commissioners and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman immediately had that mess cleaned up. No arrests were made in the first incident.
Friday’s incident marked only the second time the “Welcome” sign has been vandalized in 50 years, officials said.
Pepitone was arrested and booked into the Clark County Detention Center on a charge of injuring/damaging the property of another.
Pepitone is the cousin of the former famed New York Yankee with the same name. He’s had an ongoing well-documented 12-year beef with Las Vegas casino Arizon Charlie’s, where he claims his $463,895 slot machine win was voided because casino officials said the machine malfunctioned.
He appealed the decision as far as the Nevada State Supreme Court, but lost each time.
Pepitone has continued to protest the decision, doing so in an unorthodox way: He wears a barrel fastened with suspenders from his shoulders as marches frequently in public at demonstrations (including O.J. Simpson’s murder trial), carrying signs that read claims such as, “I was robbed!” in bold, large print.