A 19-year-old woman is facing a felony damage to property charge after she allegedly ripped out the wiring in a squad car following her arrest Wednesday afternoon.
Maria Tzep-Lopez is facing multiple charges, including fleeing an officer on foot, felony fifth-degree controlled substance possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and felony first-degree damage to property public safety motor vehicle, according to Olmsted County Adult Detention Center records.
Tzep-Lopez was arrested around 3 p.m. in the 200 block of Second Avenue Southwest, according to Rochester Police Capt. John Sherwin, but the incident began earlier when she was allegedly seen skateboarding on downtown sidewalks.
City ordinance states that, "No person shall use a skateboard, rollerblades or rollerskates on any public sidewalk, or in the Peace Plaza, or any public parking lot, or in any public or private structure located in the central business district."
A Rochester Police Community Action Team Officer on foot patrol downtown as part of a pedestrian safety campaign saw her skateboarding around 8 a.m. and attempted to stop her to tell her that skateboarding on the sidewalk was not permitted, Sherwin said.
The officer put his arm out but Tzep-Lopez allegedly skated under his arm and picked up speed, causing pedestrians to jump out of the way as she continued down the sidewalk, Sherwin said.
Around 3 p.m., the same officer was on bike patrol downtown and again spotted Tzep-Lopez skateboarding on the sidewalk. The officer again went to stop Tzep-Lopez and maneuvered his bike to block her way so she could not skate off, Sherwin said. Tzep-Lopez allegedly hit the bike, fell off her skateboard and was taken into custody.
The officer allegedly found five different packages of butane honey oil in her backpack, Sherwin said. Tzep-Lopez had been placed in the back of the squad car in handcuffs but during the ride to the police station managed to slip her hands out of the cuffs and rip out the wiring to the squad's surveillance camera, causing more than $1,000 worth of damage, Sherwin said.