Suspect punches sprinkler in Gilbert jail cell, causes flood

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Gilbert police said Tyler Thomas punched the sprinkler head in his cell and it flooded the detention facility. By Jennifer Thomas Gilbert police said Tyler Thomas punched the sprinkler head in his cell and it flooded the detention facility. By Jennifer Thomas

GILBERT, Ariz. -- A man in custody for urinating in public now faces a criminal damage charge after causing a flood in a holding cell at the Gilbert police station.

A police officer contacted Tyler Thomas, 20, near Burk Street and Campbell Avenue in Gilbert as he was urinating on a tree in public view at approximately 1:15 a.m. Sunday.

Gilbert police spokesman Sgt. Bill Balafas said Thomas initially lied about his identity and was arrested for providing false information to a police officer, urinating in public and underage consumption.

Once at the police department, Thomas punched the sprinkler head in his cell, breaking it.

"The sprinkler turned on and flooded the detention facility until there was about two inches of standing water throughout," Balafas said.

He said some of the water crept under the cell door and began flooding the hallway.

Thomas is expected to be charged with criminal damage.

Balafas said the fire suppression system is being repaired and maintenance is dealing with the flooding.