It doesn’t take much to cross the line from what some might consider a seemingly innocuous prank into a significant legal issue. A man from Sparta is experiencing this for himself after an incident last week led to his arrest.

The 36-year-old man is facing several charges, including burglary, after police followed a trail of property damage and found him hiding in the gym at Sussex County Community College.

Police first were made aware of an incident at the school when someone called in a report of apparent vandalism. Officers who responded found that glass from one of the building’s windows in the lobby had been broken, leaving shattered glass all over the floor. After looking inside, officers saw that two vending machines had been smashed by a dumbbell that had been removed from a fitness room.

This concerned the police officers who had responded to the call, so they in turn called for backup. That’s when officers from the New Jersey State Police showed up to help search the building.

Eventually, officers found the man who was charged, trying to hide among some bleachers in the school gym. It wasn’t immediately clear if the man was a student at the school, but in any case, damages were estimated at about $3,000.

While this incident might seem minor in the grand scheme of things, it is indeed a very serious one for the man who has been charged. He faces the prospect of having a criminal record and having to pay for the damages if he is convicted. People in situations such as this might find it advantageous to consult with a criminal defense attorney who can work on their behalf.

Source:, “Munchies? Man smashes SCCC vending machines with dumbbell, takes food, cops say,” Brendan Kuty, Aug. 11, 2013