Union Beach Det. Michael Woodrow said Diehl was charged with third-degree criminal mischief for allegedly spray painting the monikers “CHUD” and “Sponge” on structures, concrete, trains and a police car during the past seven months.
Woodrow said this was the most unbelievable act he has ever seen, and that Diehl even went so far as to allegedly dangle over Route 287 in order to tag several overpasses.
The detective said there are about 100 tagging incidents throughout Monmouth and Middlesex counties. One, he said, where Diehl allegedly went so far as to tag a police car in Hazlet while three officers were inside a WaWa on Route 36.
Woodrow said he had never heard of someone being that brazen before. “Things like this don’t even happen in L.A.,” he said.
The detective said that tagging monikers, such as Diehl allegedly did, is part of building “underground street cred.” He said it was a thing on MySpace, and that tagging is a way for such an occult following to send messages to one another on the streets.
Woodrow said Diehl allegedly had pictures of the graffiti on his MySpace page.
The detective said Diehl allegedly tormented the two counties with his alleged spray painting.
Woodrow said “CHUD” stands for “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller,” named after a movie, and that “Sponge” was short for Spongebob Squarepants, a cartoon character.
He said Diehl would allegedly paint the word “Sponge” or sometimes the yellow character himself.
The detective said Diehl allegedly used colors such as red, white, blue, yellow and brown when monikering.
Woodrow said the damages are estimated to be in the thousands of dollars. He said the damage in Union Beach alone is estimated to be over $2,000.
The detective said Diehl was also charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Woodrow said police are investigating the possibility that Diehl also tagged the following towns: Union Beach, Keansburg, Keyport, Hazlet, Holmdel, Aberdeen, Red Bank, Marlboro, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, Woodbridge, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, East Brunswick, Edison and Sayreville.
Woodrow said Diehl allegedly hit Keansburg hard, even painting stop signs to read “Can’t (STOP) CHUD.”
He also said New York authorities might have an interest in Diehl’s allegations.
The detective said it is likely Diehl might face charges from other towns, where it could cost thousands of dollars to clean up the graffiti.
Woodrow said Diehl is no longer in custody after being released on a bail of $10,000.
He said Diehl drove a green pick-up truck.
FRESH PAINT: Det. Michael Woodrow invested a particular tag on Route 36 near Union Beach where Daniel Diehl allegedly spray painted his moniker. (Melissa L. Gaffney)