Man says he committed crime so he could find shelter in prison

By Janice Gregorson

James Cox says he has no place to live. So he wants to go to prison.

The 61-year-old man turned himself into Rochester police Friday morning, saying he had smashed car windows on two vehicles in the parking lot of Clements Chevrolet by Apache Mall. Damage to the vehicles totals $2,271.

Cox told police he intentionally broke the windows with a center punch, a tool used to mark the spot where a hole is to be drilled. He said he purposely cut himself, too, so his blood would be at the scene and prove him guilty.


Cox is charged with first-degree damage to property, a felony. He was arraigned on the charge Monday. Judge Joseph Wieners set bail at $200. Cox remains in jail and returns to court July 13.

According to the criminal complaint, Cox told police he was homeless and wanted to go to prison to have a place to live. He also told the officer that if he weren’t arrested, he would go back to Clements and break more vehicle windows. The officer who met with Cox said he was visibly upset and bleeding from a cut on his finger. Cox said he threw the center punch in the river.

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