Police: Man smashed electronic items with hammer in lobby of Bettendorf Police Department

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 11:21 AM CDT
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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - A Bettendorf man was arrested Thursday after police said smashed several electronic items with a hammer, causing smoke to fill the lobby of the police department.

James Alan Draper, 59, was charged with reckless use of fire or explosives, a serious misdemeanor, and fifth-degree criminal mischief.

Bond was set Friday at $1,000 cash or surety. He has a preliminary hearing Sept. 23.

The incident happened around 7:20 p.m. Thursday, according to an arrest affidavit.

Draper rode up on the sidewalk in front of the Bettendorf Police Station, 1609 State St., on a red 2018 Kawasaki motorcycle.

According to the affidavit, he went into the lobby of the police department, put several electronic devices onto a rug and beat them with a hammer, causing the batteries to catch fire and fill the lobby with smoke.

The fire alarms went off in both the police and fire departments.

The fire department located an electronic device battery still smoking on the rob and quickly removed it from the building, according to the affidavit.

The brief heat and fire from the smashed battery caused multiple burn marks on the rug and charred one of the lobby floor tiles. Damage to the run and tile was less than $300, according to the affidavit.

Video surveillance footage helped police identify Draper, according to ot the affidavit.

He was arrested several hours later and admitted to smashing the electronic items in the lobby, according to the affidavit.