A man accused of damaging a fountain as well as other property is facing serious charges, sources have said. According to criminal law in Nevada, damaging property can be upgraded to a felony offense if the damage is sufficient, which was apparently the case here. The man was described as being “distraught” during the encounter with police, and he is currently in custody being held on bail of $5,000.
The bizarre encounter allegedly began when police were called to deal with a man who apparently jumped into the man-made lake surrounding Bellagio Fountains sometime on the evening of July 23. Apparently the 39-year-old man was spotted by bystanders who alerted bicycle units of the Metro police. The officers were soon joined by other police units as well as local firefighters and resort security in an attempt to extricate the man from the lake.
According to a video tape of the event police say exists, the man was distraught as police tried to pull him from the water. During the ensuing alleged struggle, the man apparently damaged several fixtures attached to the fountains, as well as damaged the gear of an officer whose Kevlar vest was damaged by the chlorine in the water. The man has been charged with felony property damage after the damage was valuated at approximately $5,500, not counting the vest.
Criminal law does allow for the questions of intent, culpability and fitness to stand trial. Nevada defense counsel might want to review the video tape, if such a tape exists, to get a better sense of how the scenario played out. It may be possible for the defense to negotiate a plea bargain if the man’s mental health is called into question.
Source: lasvegassun.com, “Las Vegas man accused of damaging Bellagio Fountains“, Pashtana Usufzy, July 24, 2015