Police station vandalized amidst ongoing trend of broken windows

The suspect had no prior involvement with the Aberdeen police

A man was arrested early Tuesday morning after breaking a window in the sliding doors to the Aberdeen Police Station.

Mitchel Thomas McHatton, 29, of Montesano, was arrested for third degree malicious mischief and resisting arrest.

An officer noticed someone pacing back and forth in front of the lobby on the cameras before getting a step-stone and breaking the glass in the sliding doors to the lobby of the station, said Cmdr. Steve Timmons.

Officers went out to place McHatton under arrest. When McHatton resisted, Timmons said, officers tasered him and detained him.

“It may have been he just needed somewhere to go. It’s unfortunate that’s what he had to resort to,” Timmons said. “He told the officers he just wanted to go to jail.”

It isn’t the first instance of vandalism to the station in recent history, Timmons said.

“We’ve had windows in our records broken. We had the city hall door broken,” Timmons said. “I don’t think we’re targeted. We had a rash for a while and then it kind of slowed down.”

Timmons said he wasn’t sure what the cost for fixing the window would be, though the city had spent about $4,000 fixing other windows broken recently.


The casual vandalism, the breaking of windows, isn’t limited to city property, said Wil Russoul, executive director of the Downtown Business Association.

“We do have that,” Russoul said in a phone interview. ”I’ve been on foot and chased guys that for no good reason picked up a rock and threw it through a window.”

There are plenty of reasons he’s seen that someone might decide to throw a rock through a window, Russoul said.

“​​Sometimes a business might tell you to leave. They might not do it in the nicest way,” Russoul said. “Maybe you come back and break their window.”

Replacing windows is expensive, Timmons said, and prohibitively expensive to be doing constantly.

“I feel horrible for business owners and property owners. It’s money out of their pocket,” Timmons said. “And there’s the inconvenience of replacing windows, doors.”

Cameras on storefronts can help identify suspects in vandalism cases like this, Timmons said, particularly when it’s someone known to be a party to such behavior.

“Having that video is huge for us. So we can hold people accountable,” Timmons said. “It’s frustrating when we can’t give (business owners) any closure.”

Other reasons someone might break a window beyond revenge include gaining entry — probably the largest reason, Russoul said. Someone might also do it for entertainment, out of mental illness or simply to get arrested and have somewhere indoors to sleep overnight.

“I’d say a couple dozen (vandalism incidents) a year. I don’t have any hard numbers. It’s typically the same people who do it,” Timmons said. “That may be on the low end.”

Contact Senior Reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@thedailyworld.com.