Crime & Courts

Man vandalizes West Columbia church, businesses because cigar was stolen, police say

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West Columbia police arrested a man over the weekend after he caused thousands of dollars in damage to various churches and businesses on Augusta Road, according to police reports.

Deshea Butler, 30, broke several windows and glass doors at the eight establishments because, he said, someone stole his cigar, according to the report.

Police were called to several establishments on Augusta Road — including two beauty salons, La Iglesia De Dios De La Profecia, Liberty Financial Services and a TD Banks — after people began discovering the broken windows at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday.

After searching the area, officers found Butler walking in the same block as the businesses and questioned him, according to the report. Butler admitted to the police he broke the various windows.

When asked why, Butler told police, “I broke the windows because someone stole my cigar.” Officers arrested Butler and took him to the Lexington County Detention Center while they contacted owners of the businesses.

All in all, Butler is accused of causing about $5,400 in damage, according to the reports. He was charged with disorderly conduct, three counts of malicious injury to tree, house/trespassing and four counts of malicious injury to personal property.

Butler was given a total bond amount of $5,380.

Emily Bohatch helps cover South Carolina’s government for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.