A man suspected of being a vagrant was arrested for smashing the windows of a Ford pickup truck in downtown Dallas this weekend.
The incident occurred on Saturday, December 17 in front of the La Quinta Inn and Suites located at 302 South Houston Street — directly across the street from the Dallas County Courthouse, which can be clearly seen in the background of a video recording of the incident.
The Dallas Police Department told The Dallas Express that officers responded to a major disturbance call at the aforementioned address, and “upon arrival, the victim stated that someone came and notified him that someone was breaking into their truck.”
James Grimes, 64, was smashing the victim’s truck with a shovel, breaking the windows, and taking things out of it, video evidence suggests. Police claimed that when the victim approached Grimes, he “then swung the shovel at the victim.”
Grimes was then arrested by Dallas police. Dallas Fire-Rescue was also on location, but both Grimes and the victim refused treatment.
Grimes was booked into Dallas County jail shortly after 11 p.m. and faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and burglary of vehicles. His bond has been set at $52,500.
While it has not been confirmed, many assumed that Grimes is one of the city’s thousands of vagrants.
“Downtown Dallas is turning into San Francisco. Overrun with homeless,” Brad Stutzman said on Instagram in response to the video of Grimes.
This incident comes as Dallas continues to face the plagues of homelessness and vagrancy. The need for the City to properly address this crisis has become even more urgent as some businesses in developing areas have resorted to using private security to protect themselves from violent vagrants, while other businesses have been pushed out of those areas entirely.
The Office of Homeless Solutions (OHS) worked throughout the year, without much success, to shut down homeless and vagrant encampments throughout the city, but those efforts have been complicated by armed activists who have prevented city employees from cleaning out encampments that have overtaken public spaces.
Dallas also discourages giving out money to these individuals as it enables them to remain on the streets. “Giving spare change without offering support could make matters worse,” the City explained, suggesting well-meaning people direct the homeless to City services.