Accused car vandal in Puyallup said it was a 'stress reliever'

Staff writerNovember 22, 2013 

One of three people charged with recently damaging 89 vehicles in Puyallup told police he broke the windows and mirrors because it helped relieve stress, according to court documents.

James Reynolds, 19, pleaded not guilty Thursday to seven counts of malicious mischief. His bail was set at $50,000.

Warrants were issued Thursday for two co-defendants – Tyler Graham, 24, and Nicole Simons, 22 – after they skipped their arraignments. Police arrested them overnight and they appeared in Pierce County Superior Court on Friday. Both pleaded not guilty to seven counts of malicious mischief.

Their bails were set at $50,000 apiece.

Pierce County prosecutors said they might add more charges later.

The trio is accused of using metal baseball bats to smash out the windows and side mirrors of the 89 vehicles. Some of the vehicles were parked downtown when they were vandalized, others were parked outside homes.

The vandals' busiest night appears to have been Nov. 8, when 36 vehicles were damaged.

An overall estimate of damages was not immediately available.

A tip led police to Simons and Graham and officers were able to compare Simons’ car with video footage that caught a woman breaking out the windows of a 1997 Ford pickup truck, according to court records.

Simons’ car had two baseball bats inside when police searched it, the court records show.

When detectives interviewed Simons, she said Reynolds had been staying with her and Graham, who have been dating for three months, the records state. Simons blamed the vandalism spree on Reynolds, saying “he has a lot of anger,” according to charging papers.

She admitted to breaking the windows on one truck because days earlier the man she thought owned the truck “decided to threaten me and my dog,” according to charges. When told the truck did not belong to that man, she asked police if she could write a letter of apology.

The trio told police Graham was the driver, Simons sat in the front passenger seat and acted as a lookout and Reynolds did most of the damage. Reynolds told police “it’s a good stress reliever,” court records show.

Graham admitted to damaging vehicles in Auburn and Federal Way, according to the records. Asked whether he felt bad about that, he replied the cars were old

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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