Man's rampage causes $20,000 in downtown damages

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- A man is in custody after allegedly smashing up windows and glass doors at the Maricopa County Office of Elections and some other downtown buildings last week. The violence caused $20,000 worth of damage.

The damage at the Elections building was repaired in time for Tuesday's vote.

It first started at the Alice Cooperstown restaurant off First and Jackson streets.

According to court documents, 22-year-old Joseph Urango told police he began to see murderers in the windows of the restaurant.

Claiming he was afraid people were trying to kill him, the man began to kick, hit and throw rocks at windows and doors throughout the area to fight the "invisible people" off. The glass-smashing spree included the County Election headquarters.

"Hit several windows at our election facility and around the door, which we had just replaced," said Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell. "So we had to have it replaced again."

Purcell first feared the broken glass was a repeat of the 2012 election when someone busted in the windows.

"I think at that point it was election-related; I do not think this was election-related," Purcell said.

But Purcell said there was still cause for concern. With broken doors and windows to the building, It left the Maricopa County Office of Elections vulnerable for a brief time period.

"All early ballots are coming back, always a concern for us," Purcell said.

Urango allegedly vandalized several other buildings and businesses with in a three-block area, including the US Airways Center, before police caught him.

Urango was arrested and charged with multiple criminal damage charges.