San Marcos Police arrested Zachary Alan McClish, Jan. 3 for suspicion of criminal mischief after allegedly breaking windows at several downtown San Marcos businesses.
Four businesses: Café on the Square, Sean Patrick’s, KZSM radio station and Barefoot Campus Outfitters reported having their window smashed by a rock between Dec. 21, 2018 and Jan. 3, 2019.
Barefoot Campus Outfitters was the first business to have its windows shattered but the retail store did not report the incident to the police until Jan. 4
On Dec. 27, Sean Patrick’s, a pub on the Square, was targeted. Chance Garbutt, general manager, discovered the broken windows.
“I called the non-emergency number and they told me to fill out a police report online,” Garbutt said. “The site was giving me trouble so I called back around 11 to have an officer come by and do a police report.”
The next day, a situation of the same nature occurred at KZSM radio. A few days later, Cafe on the Square was hit. Esther Henk, general manager of Café on the Square, spotted the suspect at the scene Jan. 3. as she was opening the restaurant.
“It was Thursday morning at 6:45 (a.m.) and I found it as soon as it happened,” Henk said. “I heard a huge crash and I went outside and there the dude was walking across the crosswalk. I yelled at him ‘hey, hey’ and he looked at me and said ‘I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it.” Then my cook ushered me inside because he was worried the guy was going to try to come after me.”
This was reportedly not the first episode, Henk said Café on the Square has had incidences occur before with McClish.
“We had issues with him in the past, we had to have a nontrespassing warrant served to him several years ago because he was creating a scene and threatening people in here, so we’ve known him from the past,” Henk said.
McClish, a homeless man usually spends time in the downtown area according to a city press release and was served misdemeanor warrants for these events while he was in Hays County Jail on unrelated charges.
Vandalism similar to this does not seem to be common for the downtown area. Both Garbutt and Henk as well as the police said, other than the recent occurrences, they have not had many comparable problems.
“As far as reported vandalism, I’ll differentiate between the two,” said Kelly Bomersbach, criminal investigations commander for the San Marcos Police Department. “Sometimes it’s reported, sometimes it happens and no one reports it, but as far as (those) reported, there hasn’t been very many instances. It’s not a normal thing.”
In 2018, there were 20 reports of criminal mischief in the downtown area, the majority of them causing damages between $100 and $750, according to Bomersbach.
Police stated in a press release, McClish was interviewed by detectives and revealed no motive for the damage.
As far as future incidences, there doesn’t seem to be much businesses or police can do to prevent this. Garbutt said they have discussed adding a camera in the position to see the front entrance while Henk seemed comfortable with the level of protection they have currently.
“I think that (SMPD) is doing their job to the greatest of their ability. There’s no way there can always be a cop everywhere at one time and I think that the police department, who was here very fast, I think they did great taking care of their job,” Henk said.
Known as the “serial rock-thrower” in the press release sent out by the city of San Marcos, McClish faces three counts of criminal mischief under $750 and one count of criminal mischief under $2,500. Criminal mischief is punishable as a misdemeanor or a lesser felony carrying up to ten years in jail.
Criminal mischief activity can be reported to SMPD’s main line at 512-393-8000. The University Star will update this story as more information becomes available.