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Man accused in August of damaging apartment arrested in Louisiana

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A Watertown man accused of covering the walls of an apartment he was living in with biblical quotes and damaging the radiator, stove and other appliances in August was arrested Tuesday in Baton Rouge, La.

Mark R. Stewart, 53, of 1005 Franklin St., was accused of painting biblical sayings on the walls of the 909 Washington St. apartment he rented from J. Clancy Hopkins, formerly of 12528 Campbells Point, Sackets Harbor. Mr. Hopkins died Feb. 13 at age 89.

In addition to the graffiti on the walls, Mr. Stewart was accused of tearing a steel radiator from the living room wall, ripping apart a closet, stripping molding from around windows and removing the kitchen sink and drywall.

According to past reports, Mr. Stewart changed the lock months before Mr. Hopkins discovered the damage and did not leave Mr. Hopkins a key. Mr. Hopkins estimated he caused about $25,000 in damage, though he said it was insured. He was told by City Constable Patricia J. Hennegan that this was not the first time Mr. Stewart had been accused of damaging an apartment, but that this incident had been the worst.

Mr. Stewart was charged on a Watertown city police warrant at 3 a.m. at Parish Prison, 2867 Brig. Gen. Isaac Smith Ave., Baton Rouge, after he was arrested on an unrelated charge. City police officers Roy E. Whitmore and Michael B. Zicari went to Baton Rouge and took him into custody. He was brought to the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building on a charge of second-degree criminal mischief, a class D felony. He was arraigned in City Court and held at the jail on $50,000 bail.

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