Man charged with vandalizing Tri-County Health Department offices

A man accused of vandalizing the Tri-County Health Department offices multiple times allegedly sent threatening messages on Facebook to employees, saying the graffiti and broken windows were just the beginning of his attacks unless the county reopened businesses shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Daniel James Pesch, 36, appeared in Arapahoe County court Wednesday morning where he was charged with felony criminal mischief in connection with vandalism at the offices. He was arrested at 8:15 p.m. Monday by Aurora police officers who spotted the suspect walking in the parking lot of the building at 15192 E. Hampden Ave., according to an Aurora Police Department arrest affidavit.

Pesch is suspected of causing about $5,000 in damages at the county health offices where windows were smashed and windows were defaced with profanity-laced messages in spray paint, according to the affidavit. The building was damaged on six occasions in April and May, the affidavit said.

Pesch allegedly sent messages on Facebook to Tri-County Health which included: “Hope you’re enjoying putting small businesses under. Enjoy your broken windows (expletive)” The message refers to Pesch’s dissatisfaction with Stay-at-Home guidelines by issued health officials because of the novel coronavirus, according to the affidavit. Pesch allegedly sent multiple messages bragging about the damage and threatening more, and he used his personal Facebook account to do so, the affidavit said.

One message, according to the affidavit, said: “Cops can’t be posted at your building every night. I’ll get you (expletive) all of you.”

Pesch was arrested multiple times in Denver in 2019 for similar destruction of property incidents, including broken windows on the Auraria Campus.

Pesch’s bond was set at $5,000, according to the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s Office. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 23.

In 2017, Pesch was arrested in connection with the 2010 murder of an Elbert County schoolteacher, Randy Wilson, who was found strangled to death in a remote field. A murder charge against Pesch was dismissed after his confession was found to be false.

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