A 22-year-old man is accused of driving a car through Canyon Lakes one February night while three friends threw beer bottles and rocks and shot paintballs at vehicles and building windows, causing almost $5,800 in damage.
Jacob Allen Baumgartner of Kennewick pleaded innocent Wednesday in Benton County Superior Court to one count of second-degree malicious mischief. His trial is scheduled for Aug. 27.
Co-defendants Andrew Steven Godinez, Blake McKinley Sickler and Jordan David Lewis, all 19 and of Kennewick, have been sent a summons to appear in court June 13 on the same charge.
Kennewick police received a number of vandalism calls over a two-day period for the Canyon Lakes area in south Kennewick.
The first came at 7:34 p.m. Feb. 15 after a man heard "a loud sound of glass breaking" and walked outside his home to find the left side mirror on his Ford truck had been broken by a beer bottle, court documents said. The truck's owner estimated it would cost $150 to fix the damage.
Then at 8:22 p.m., a video surveillance camera at Canyon Lakes Golf Course recorded a car entering the business parking lot and leaving about two minutes later. It wasn't until the next day that a golf course employee discovered a clubhouse window was shattered when a bottle was tossed through it, in addition to the paintballs that had been shot at the building walls and a car in the lot, documents said.
The cost to repair and clean the business' damage came in at $850.
Just a few minutes after vandals struck the clubhouse, police got a report of paintballs hitting a West 51st Avenue home.
And 21 minutes later at 8:46 p.m., another resident told officers that the paint on her Chevrolet Silverado was damaged when it was hit by a beer bottle. She estimated it would cost about $500 to fix.
That victim reported seeing an older model, maroon Oldsmobile-type car leaving the area at a high rate of speed, court documents said.
Dispatch took additional calls that night about a recklessly driven vehicle through Canyon Lakes neighborhoods. The description of the car matched the suspect vehicle, documents said.
At 10:25 p.m., Kennewick Officer Jason Harrington saw that same vehicle leaving the Burger King on Washington Street and stopped it.
Baumgartner and Lewis were inside the car, where police also allegedly observed a slingshot, paintballs and a partially consumed case of Budweiser beer.
In an interview with police, Lewis admitted to throwing bottles at vehicles while Baumgartner drove, court documents said. He also said two other men -- later identified as Sickler and Godinez -- were in the car at the time of the vandalism, documents said.
Sickler and Godinez later were contacted by officers and allegedly admitted to shooting paintballs at vehicles and homes. The paintball gun reportedly belonged to Godinez.
The biggest damage report at $4,276 didn't come until 7:23 a.m. the next day when a man heading to work found that overnight a rock had been used to break a window on his 2012 Toyota Tundra, court documents said.
The rock had traveled through the window with enough force to damage the truck's headliner and chip the inside of another window, documents said.
Deputy Prosecutor Brendan Siefken said the total damage caused by the malicious mischief rang in at $5,776.
Pasco man pleads innocent to cashing stolen checks
A Pasco man pleaded innocent to allegations he stole several checks from a woman who had hired him to pack and move her belongings, and later forged them to get cash.
Michael Keith Owen, 30, faces trial July 30 for second-degree identity theft.
According to court documents, the woman had hired movers to take care of her home's belongings between Oct. 29 and Nov. 16. Once the move was complete, she discovered several of her checks were cashed by Owen, documents said.
Four checks for a total $1,350 were forged and taken to Moneytree and Ace Cash Express in Kennewick.
Owen allegedly tried to cash another check at Chase Bank in Puyallup, inside a Fred Meyer branch, but was denied. Surveillance video inside the store captured the transaction and helped Richland police identify the suspect.
Police then contacted an Ace Cash Express employee to verify if Owen was the person who had cashed the stolen and forged checks, court documents said. The employee confirmed it was Owen, telling officers he had an account with the check-cashing store for several years, documents said.
Owen was arrested Tuesday. His bail was reduced Wednesday to $7,500.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; firstname.lastname@example.org