Arrested for tagging bus shelter

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – An apparent vandal bolted into traffic and fled from police because, he said later, he was worried about going to jail.

A 2:59 p.m. caller reported to police yesterday that she was watching a man deface the shelter at a Main Street bus stop and Officer Dermot Hurley found the man at the bus stop moments later.

Hurley reports that when he arrived he saw a man who matched the suspect’s description writing on a poster at the shelter and the caller, who said she had been stopped for a traffic light when she saw the man writing on the plastic walls of the shelter, confirmed that the man found was the person she had seen.

Hurley reports that the man, later identified as Christifer M. Schmuck, 34, of 179 Corona St., Springfield, denied that he had been tagging the walls of the bus shelter but did admit to be in possession of a marker.

Hurley noted an odor of alcohol about the man, despite the strong winds, and reports that he was unsteady on his feet. When asked, Schmuck said that he had no identification and told Hurley that his surname was Mathias. When asked to spell it, he twice misspelled Schmuck before he abruptly darted into traffic on Main Street and fled.

Hurley reports that the man was unsteady as he lurched across the heavily traveled street and fled to the railroad right-of-way where he proceeded to walk slowly south.

Hurley and Officer Kerry Paton took custody of Schmuck a short distance down the path.

When asked why he fled, Hurley reports, Schmuck said that he had been in Westfield District Court earlier in the day where the judge ordered him to remain drug and alcohol free.

Schmuck said that, because he had been drinking, he was worried that he would be sent to jail.

Staff at the court report that Schmuck had appeared in court Monday to answer two charges of vandalism of property and a charge of disorderly conduct.

Hurley reports Schmuck was arrested for disorderly conduct and malicious destruction of property valued less than $250 and is expected to be arraigned Tuesday.

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