Local man confesses to extensive damage to car wash still under construction

Charles Smith arrested NEMiss.News
Charles Smith charged with felony malicious mischief
March 25th, 2021     General News


A New Albany man is free on $10,000 bond after causing at least that much damage to a car wash under construction on Park Plaza Drive.

New Albany Police Department (NAPD) Investigator Jeff Chism said the owner of the Park Plaza Autowash reported damage to the facility, which is under on the west side of Park Plaza Drive. The report to NAPD was made Monday, March 22.

Car wash damaged NEMiss.News

This bent 1 1/4 inch diameter heat treated steel pivot pin was a small part of the damages to the car wash.

Chism went to the scene to investigate the damage and found some evidence as well.

“We recovered several parts and ran them,” he said. “They came back to a 2017-2019 maroon Nissan Rogue Sport.”

“Wednesday, I checked Richey’s Body Shop and found a 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport with a good amount of front and rear damage,” he continued. “I had the parts (from the crime scene) and they matched.”

The vehicle was owned by Charles Smith, 33, of a Gardens Apartments address in New Albany.

“Today we located him at the apartments,” Chism said. When questioned, Smith confessed to going through the car wash, he said.

Nissan Rogue Sport NEMiss.news

This is the same make and model as the car that caused damages to Park Plaza Autotwash that was nearing completion in New Albany

Officers could not determine whether alcohol or other drugs were involved since it had been several days since the incident. No clear motive was given. Apparently the vehicle was driven into the car wash from the west side, the direction from which vehicles would normally be driven to be washed.  However the Nissan vehicle  struck a heavy piece of machinery it could not move near the end of the carwash tunnel. To get out of that predicament, Smith then backed out of the carwash, an action that apparently caused much of the damage.

Police charged Smith with felony malicious mischief and his bond was set at $10,000.

John Stephens with of Crystal Car Wash Supplies, an Illinois Company, said he has been involved in installing “25 or 30” similar car wash systems around the U.S. and has never before encountered a similar stunt.

Repairing the damage will cause a delay in opening Park Plaza Autowash, which now expects to be open for business about May 1.

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