A man who says he altered the famous “Hollywood” sign to read “Hollyweed” has turned himself into police and been charged with trespassing.
Fernandez’s attorney was by his side while he was booked for trespassing, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail. He was released with a promise to appear in court on Feb. 15.
The 94-year-old Hollywood sign on Mount Lee was altered around 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day to read “Hollyweed.”
At first, the identity of the person who changed the sign was a mystery, but Fernandez took credit for the prank in interviews with BuzzFeed and Vice.com.
“It was something to smile and laugh out loud about,” Fernandez told BuzzFeed News. “Just lift their spirits and let them live because 2016 was a crazy year, dude.”
Fernandez and collaborator Sarah Fern, his ex-wife, used about $35 worth of tarps to change the sign, a process that took about three hours of work and two months of preparation.
“We literally were sewing stuff the day of,” he told BuzzFeed. “It was so fun and exhilarating.”
Although Fernandez expected the sign change would get a reaction locally, he was shocked at how big the story was.
“I never expected it to get as big as it did,” Fernandez told the Los Angeles Times.
Although officials concede that Fernandez’s prank did not harm the sign, Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu told the Los Angeles Times that it was important that the act be punished.
“Pranks of this nature deplete the resources of our valuable public safety personnel, in both responding to the prank and in responding to the increased crowds and copycat attempts that these incidents generate,” he said.