Man Accused of Puncturing 58 Tires in Columbia Heights

Updated: 10/14/2013 8:25 PM By: Jennie Olson

Photo: MGN Online
Photo: MGN Online

A Columbia Heights man has been accused of puncturing 58 vehicle tires, totaling about $8,700 in damage.

Columbia Heights officers were called to the 4200 block of Monroe Street around 2:21 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 29. Multiple people reported that tires on their vehicles had been slashed.

Two victims said they were changing their damaged tires when they heard air suddenly being released from a nearby tire. They followed the suspect and called police.

Police identified the man as 24-year-old Austin James Ward of Columbia Heights, and officers say he had a multi-tool in his back pants pocket.

Ward admitted that he had been drinking at a wedding reception and that on his way to a convenience store he decided to puncture tires on nearby vehicles with the tool. He estimated puncturing 30 tires on 15 vehicles, police say.

According to the criminal complaint, officers found a total of 58 tires had been damaged, costing about $150 each.

Ward has been charged with first degree criminal damage to property. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.