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Stonington police charge man with smashing out firehouse windows

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Stonington — Police charged a Pawcatuck man Tuesday in connection with an Oct. 30 incident in which they say he used a tire iron to smash out windows at the Wequetequock firehouse, causing an estimated $2,500 of damage.

Kurt D. Riley, 25, of 54 Stanton Lane turned himself in to police after learning there was a warrant for his arrest on a charge of first-degree criminal mischief. He was arraigned Tuesday in New London Superior Court, at which time a judge set a $5,000 bond. If released, he was ordered to not possess any weapons, not consume alcohol, stay away from the firehouse and comply with instructions from the Alternatives to Incarceration Center regarding substance abuse.

According to the affidavit for Riley’s arrest warrant, police received a report of criminal mischief from fire department officials that took place overnight and involved five broken window panes on two of the front bay doors.

A member of the fire department told police that at 12:15 a.m. he was in a firetruck wait for another firefighter to respond to a water emergency when a white-colored, four-door sedan drove by the Farmholme Road station and the driver stuck up his middle finger toward him. When the firefighter drove the firetruck north on Farmholme Road to the call, he said he saw the same car waiting on nearby Barnes Road as he drove by. The firefighter said he believed the car then turned south on Farmholme Road toward the fire station.

When the firefighters returned to the station and then left shortly after 1 a.m. they said there was no damage, leading police to believe it occurred between then and 7 a.m.

Police then reviewed surveillance video from the firehouse that shows the white sedan pulling into the parking lot across the street from the station and shutting off its lights at 1:29 a.m.

The video then shows the sedan leaving at 1:33 a.m. and then returning to the station three minutes later. This time, the driver gets out and appears to use a hammer to break all five garage bay windows. He then drives off.

Police were able to determine the car was a Volkswagen Jetta with a model year between 2005 and 2010. The driver appeared to be a young male wearing a hooded sweatshirt not over his head, with mid-length hair and a slim build, and less than six feet tall.

On Nov. 9, police said Riley came to the police station to report his car, a 2008 white Volkswagen Jetta, had broken down out front. Police noted Riley was wearing a hooded jacket and he appeared nervous and uncomfortable and kept his hood on while waiting for a tow truck. He left before his car was towed.

The warrant states that four days later Riley went to the police station and voluntarily spoke with a detective about the case. During the interview, police said Riley admitted to causing damage to the fire station doors “a couple of weeks ago” after midnight. He said he parked his Jetta in the station parking lot and used a tire iron to damage the windows.

The warrant states Riley provided no motive for the crime except to say he was in “an angry mood.” The warrant states Riley denied having any negative history with the fire department or its members. Riley also gave police a voluntary, signed and sworn statement regarding the case.

Riley separately was charged by Stonington police on Nov. 24 with second-degree breach of peace and second-degree criminal mischief. No details were available about that case, which is pending.


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