Police take down suspect with bean bag round after vandalism spree

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Police used bean-bag rounds to stop a man they say vandalized several cars in University Heights early Saturday morning.

Just after 1 a.m. police responded to reports of a man throwing rocks and trash cans at cars, trashing merchandise and threatening a clerk at a nearby 7-11, before vandalizing at least seven vehicles near an alleyway near the 4300 block of Alabama Street in University Heights.

Dispatchers received word of a man intentionally damaging multiple cars in an alley off Alabama Street near El Cajon Boulevard shortly before 12:30 a.m., San Diego Police Officer Steve Bourasa said.

The man left the area by the time police arrived, but officers spotted him a few blocks away near the intersection of Park and El Cajon boulevards.

The suspect, a 23-year-old man, allegedly had a rock in his hand when officers approached him. He eventually dropped the rock, but continued to refuse to comply with officers' commands, and was taken into custody after officers struck him with a round from a bean-bag gun, San Diego Police Department's Steve Bourasa said.

“Sounded like two people -- like he was having a conversation (saying) 'I’m going to kill you.' It was very threatening, I can’t say all the words he was saying,” said Jeff Salyer, one of dozens of people who woke up to the commotion and found his car windows broken. “Back windows are pretty expensive to replace, side windows are (too)."

Just one of multiple cars damaged in a suspected vandalism spree.

He added that there was so much screaming, he and his wife were too scared to go down and see what was happening. "From what I’ve gathered, it was just one guy having a very loud conversation with himself,” Salyer said.

According to police, the suspect was screaming profanities, sweating profusely and clearly agitated.

Salyer says he doesn’t know whether the man was drunk or high, or mentally ill. Either way he says it’s an inconvenience that is going to cost him. “He accomplished what he wanted, breaking a window," he told FOX 5. “It’s going to be 500 bucks; we’re not happy about it.”

If you live in the area and your vehicle or property sustained damage in the episode, you’re asked to call San Diego Police.