An Oxford police lieutenant got home shortly after midnight on Sunday and discovered the hood of his vehicle had been keyed during the nighttime hours while he was on duty, according to a police report.
He contacted an officer on duty to report the damage and returned to the police department to review surveillance video.
The officer confirmed a deep scratch through the paint on the hood and viewed video showing a male causing the damage at approximately 10 p.m. The officer recognized the male and another male as having been part of a group he had encountered only 20 minutes earlier in front of the police department. Another officer had cited one member of the group for disorderly conduct for involvement in a fight.
The male involved in scratching the car had given his name as Johnson and said he did not have a license due to an OVI in Washington Courthouse a month earlier.
At 12:50 a.m. officers followed a lead to the Hookah Lounge on Beech Street and recognized the male who had been with the one being sought. The suspect was not present but walked out of the restroom a moment later and was placed under arrest. He was taken outside and a credit card was found in his wallet confirming his identity as Johnson A. Smith. Also in his pocket were keys and a knife, but it is not known which was used to damage the lieutenant’s vehicle.
Smith refused to cooperate by providing his date of birth, but a search produced a license photo confirming his identity as well as confirmation of his age as 23.
Smith demanded to see the video of him damaging the vehicle but was shown a still photo and, according to the report, became upset and began punching himself in the face. He said it had been 35 days since he had any alcohol and he had just wanted to hang out with friends and have fun, instead doing something stupid and ending up in handcuffs.
He was charged with criminal damaging and obstructing official business and taken to the Butler County Jail.
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