Spokane Police arrest man for breaking heart sculpture meant to raise money


SPOKANE, Wash. -Spokane Police have arrested a 28-year-old man involved in the vandalism of a fiberglass heart in downtown Spokane meant to raise money for charity.

SPD has been investigating after a string of vandalism involving fiberglass hearts being intentionally damaged. Several of the hearts were placed downtown as part of a community art project from the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Officers responded to the report of a fiberglass heart being broken with a large stick Wednesday afternoon on the 600 block of W Main Ave. Witnesses provided photos of the male suspect.

Police later located the suspect, who had changed his clothes but was still carrying the stick. Twenty-Eight-Year-Old Vonnelliott Mitchell, didn't cooperate with responding officers when contacted and was arrested for second-degree mischief, possession of a controlled substance, obstructing officers, resisting arrests along with outstanding warrants.

KHQ has received multiple photos from viewers of damaged hearts, including one that was broken outside the Fox Theater Monday night. Another photo was sent on Tuesday of a broken heart on Riverside Ave next to Indaba Coffee. A viewer also sent KHQ a photo of the heart later determined to be damaged by Mitchell Wednesday afternoon.

The string of vandalism has left KHQ viewers on social media furious. Various viewers chimed in with these types of comments:

"This is why Spokane can't have nice things."

"This is just really disappointing. They’re trying to revamp Spokane but it’s the people that are the problem. Disrespectful."

"This makes me so angry!!! I hope they find whoever is responsible! As someone who has a child with a complex medical condition and who has been on the receiving end of the generosity of the Ronald McDonald house charities while my son was in the hospital, I am just heartbroken by this."

" Wow!!! Why can’t people just leave things alone. And not destroy things!!! It’s NOT funny or cute!!!"

"  I worked downtown for seven years. There is nothing, I repeat nothing that would make me want to ever go down there again. It's turning into a dangerous place to be."

An investigation is still ongoing to determine who was responsible for the other damaged fiberglass hearts.

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