Police said they believe they have solved a vandalism spree over a four-day period during the Halloween season, when windows were shot out of several buildings and bus stops in the city.
Jordan L. Rhoades, 20, of 465 Clifty Drive, is one of two men facing misdemeanor charges that are considered suspects in a series of destructive acts. He is the Taylorsville man who sparked security concerns last month in the Bartholomew County Courthouse after hurling chairs in a courtroom. The other suspect in the vandalism spree is Rylan Smith, 18, of 2110 Sixth St., Columbus.
The two have been charged with criminal mischief and criminal recklessness in committing the following acts:
Vandalism Oct. 30 to the Indiana Avenue and Marr Road bus stop.
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Shots fired Oct. 31 along Indiana Avenue just north of Columbus East High School.
Vandalism Nov. 1 to a designated smoking structure near Sixth Street and Reeves Way.
Vandalism Nov. 1 to four bus stops located throughout the city.
Shooting a window Nov. 2 at what was then The Republic building, 333 Second St., with a BB gun.
Shooting two windows Nov. 2 at Mill Race Center, 900 Lindsey St. with a BB gun.
Investigators found evidence Nov. 2 that appeared to show Rhoades’ vehicle was at one of the vandalism sites when the damage occurred, according to a case summary filed by Columbus Police detective Jason Christophel.
While Rhoades and Smith, as well as others considered witnesses at this time, were interviewed in separate rooms, “each suspect was identifying the other as being responsible for causing the damage,” Christophel wrote.
Although Rhoades initially denied his involvement in three incidents, he changed his story after seeing surveillance images of his car and admitted involvement, the detective wrote.
But different accounts still remain regarding who was driving and who caused the damage, the case summary states. Two uncharged companions told investigators Rhoades and Smith were taking turns at shooting a BB gun, the summary states.
When asked to explain why they committed the vandalism, Rhoades used slang to suggest it made them feel rugged and strong, Christophel wrote.
Rhoades’ appearance in the courtroom of Bartholomew County Superior Court 2 Judge Kathleen “Kitty” Tighe Coriden was unrelated to the string of vandalism.
During a Feb. 9 probation revocation hearing, Coriden sentenced Rhoades to one year in jail, then he uttered a series of obscenities that prompted Coriden to keep adding more jail time for contempt of court.
Video surveillance shows that, in response, Rhoades hurled a chair that struck Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Fisk on the leg. He then threw a second chair toward Coriden and two others, followed by two more hurls. While only Fisk was hit, the chairs did cause substantial damage to computer equipment.
Rhoades was formally charged Feb. 22 with three felonies for his misbehavior in Coriden’s courtroom: battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer, attempted battery against a public safety official, and offense against a computer user.