Stock photo, Metro Creative Graphics

Stock photo, Metro Creative Graphics

Man faces malicious mischief charges for breaking windows in Des Moines

As many as 14 downtown businesses had rocks or bricks thrown through exterior windows

A 57-year-old man faces malicious mischief charges for allegedly throwing rocks through windows at as many as 14 downtown Des Moines businesses.

King County prosecutors charged Charlie John Heitz Jr., of Des Moines, on April 17 with one count of first-degree malicious mischief and two counts of third-degree malicious mischief, according to court documents. The degrees charged are based on the amount of damage.

Heitz reportedly went on a rock-throwing spree late on the night of April 12 and into the morning of April 13.

Heitz faces the first-degree charge for causing in excess of $5,000 damage to windows at Anthony’s HomePort Restaurant, 421 S 227th St., on the Des Moines Marina. The other counts are for damage at ABC Grocery, 22309 Seventh Ave. S., and the All-Star Sports Bar, 22303 Marine View Dr. S.

The investigation continues and additional charges are possible from damage he reportedly caused to other businesses in town, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

According to charging documents, 14 businesses had windows damaged by rocks with estimated replacement costs from $600 (at two condo units) to $16,000 (eight windows at Anthony’s Homeport). The total estimated damage exceeded $31,000.

Other businesses with damages included Bank of America, Barber Supply, Dollar Tree, Entourage Salon, Highlander Laundry, Mandarin Kitchen, Saltwater Animal Hospital, Wells Fargo and Xpress Tax Service.

The businesses were randomly vandalized with either a large rock or brick used to break exterior windows, according to charging documents. All are located within the downtown area, within a short walking distance from each other.

Des Moines Police used video surveillance from several businesses to reportedly identify Heitz. A Des Moines crisis specialist recognized Heitz from her daily duties. She spotted him at the Des Moines Library the morning after the rock-throwing incidents. He had similar clothing to the man in the videos from the businesses, according to charging papers.

Police arrested Heitz April 13 at the library. He is scheduled to be arraigned May 28 at the King County Courthouse in Seattle, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

As of April 18, Heitz remained in custody at the King County Correction Facility in Seattle with bail set at $2,000.

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