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Men behind ‘David Bowie Street' sign will not face charges

The city's transportation department said Tuesday they will not pursue criminal charges against the men who made the makeshift tribute to David Bowie on an Austin street sign last month.
KVUE viewer Kristen Largent tweeted an image of the sign at KVUE hours after the new sign's appearance last week.

AUSTIN – The city's transportation department said Tuesday they will not pursue criminal charges against the men who made the makeshift tribute to David Bowie on an Austin street sign last month.

According to KVUE's partners at the Austin American-Statesman, South by Southwest co-founder Roland Swenson and sign maker Jason Carter will not face criminal charges for changing a Bowie Street sign to David Bowie Street.

"While we don't condone the vandalism of city property, we will not be pursuing criminal charges in this situation at this time," Transportation Department spokeswoman Marissa Monroy told the Statesman.

Swenson and Carter could have faced theft and criminal mischief charges for the alterations to the sign at 3rd and Bowie Streets. Swenson and Carter admitted responsibility to the changes Jan. 15. The pair changed the sign after the singer's Jan. 10 death from cancer, and the city left the sign in place until Jan. 19.

Swenson told KVUE's Tony Plohetski when he came forward that he was taking the "steps to submit a formal petition to permanently rename this section of the street."

Bowie Street is named in honor of Col. James "Jim" Bowie, who died at the Alamo in 1836.