HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – If you really like a police officer, authorities say you can't always put it in writing. Henrico Police have charged a homeless man after a bizarre case of vandalism.
Police say the guy did not have a permanent home, but he did have one of those little permanent markers. And what he did with it, police say, got him in a world of trouble.
Joshua Caton is 23 years old, and apparently, a big fan of police officers.
It was Monday night near the Acca yard in Henrico. Caton was part of a group of homeless people who police say were being questioned near the railroad tracks.
Authorities say Caton soon walked away, then scribbled the words "I love you" on the back bumpers of five different police cars.
According to police, when asked about it later, Caton said, "I just wanted to tell you guys how much I liked you all."
"So, of course, we wanted to reciprocate, and allow Mr. Caton to wear our bracelets for a while," said Lt. Eric Owens of the Henrico Police.
Caton was arrested and charged with five counts of misdemeanor vandalism. An amusing encounter with serious consequences.
It's serious in a couple of ways. First of all, the cost to taxpayers to not only clean up the vandalism, but to prosecute the crime, which, by the way, carries a significant penalty.
If convicted on each of the five counts, Caton faces up to five years in jail, and a fine of more than $12,000. Only a judge can decide the penalty in a case of vandalism that can't easily be erased.
"If you enjoy your contact with police, just simply tell them that. You don't need to scribe it out on a vehicle or a wall or anything of that nature," said Lt. Owens.
Police say Caton is originally from Georgia, but for now he's not going anywhere. He's being held in the Henrico Jail on $500 bond. Caton is expected back in court November 16.