Just over a year ago, someone chopped down 18 trees and smashed glass bottles of a foul-smelling liquid around Springdale town hall.
At the time, police suspected the vandal to be a disgruntled employee, the town’s former arborist who had planted those trees over the past two Arbor Days.
On Monday, the arborist was arrested.
Shane Curtis Lowery, 52, was charged in 5th District Court on Tuesday with second-degree felony criminal mischief.
Lowery was accused of causing approximately $20,000 worth of damage, which was found the morning of March 12, 2017, according to court documents.
Bottles full of skunk oil, urine and feces were smashed onto the sidewalk around town hall and the police station and on the pickle ball courts. Irrigation system boxes were smashed open, and the pipes and wires inside were broken. Some 18 trees were chopped down with a hatchet.
Police at the time suspected Lowery, who had been fired from his job as town arborist a few months earlier, according to court documents.
Lowery had maintained the town grounds since 2008, but was fired in 2016 after testing positive for drugs, according to the court documents.
Witnesses had reported him bragging about the vandalism, the court documents state.
A witness — who spoke to police on Friday — said they saw who had driven Lowery the night of the vandalism. Police went through surveillance video that showed the alleged driver’s car driving out of town “consistent with the time the damage occurred,” court documents state.
Police spoke to the alleged driver, a 41-year-old man from Hurricane, on Sunday night. He told police he hadn’t known what Lowery was doing that night.
He was accused of chauffeuring the arborist to the scene of the crime. Police arrested him, and on Monday he was charged with second-degree criminal mischief.
Lowery was booked into Washington County jail on Monday afternoon, and was released on $10,000 bail on Tuesday.
He is scheduled to appear before a judge on March 26.