Homeless and hungry man prefers a jail cell Άστεγος και πεινασμένος άντρας προτιμά το κελί της φυλακής

Επιμέλεια:Ελένη Καλησπεράτη,

Jamaine Makepeace thankful to be arrested after he breaks windows By Bob Gardinier Updated 10:17 pm, Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jamaine Makepeace, 30, was arrested last week after police in Troy said he smashed windows at the Rensselaer County Clerk’s office in a bid to get arrested and out of the cold. His plan apparently worked: Makepeace who has a history of such arrests was being held without bail at the Rensselaer County jail. This photograph was from a 2010 arrest in Portsmouth, N.H. (James Kimble)

TROY — Tired of being homeless, a man broke several windows in a county office building in a bid to cause enough damage to net him a year in jail, police said. In 2010, Jamaine Makepeace was accused three times of committing similar crimes in Portsmouth, N.H. The Troy incident happened at 6 p.m. Friday when Makepeace, 30, used several items including a garbage can lid, metal ashtray and rocks to break windows in the building that houses the Rensselaer County Clerk’s office, police said. He smashed the glass in the entrance doors that face Third Street, the large window spanning the space over the doors on which the county seal was affixed, four smaller windows and the window of a car in a nearby parking lot, Capt. John Cooney said.

Witnesses who called police were surprised when Makepeace did not run off. Instead, police said, he stood near the broken glass and waited to surrender to police.”He told us he figured he would do enough damage to get a year in jail,” Cooney said. “He told us that he was tired of being on the streets and begging food from people.”Though Makepeace’s actions appear desperate, it is not uncommon for police to see the homeless commit crimes to get out of the cold.

“You’ll see someone, for instance, urinate in an alley in plain sight of the police so they can get a night in a warm jail,” Cooney said. “It is very unusual to see someone want to go in for a year.” Makepeace, who was charged with two counts of criminal mischief, is in Rensselaer County Jail without bail. The estimated cost of the damages was $2,000 for the office windows and $400 for the car window, Cooney said. In August 2010, Makepeace had his bail revoked for intentionally breaking the law to go to jail instead of spending the night on the streets of Portsmouth, N.H.

According to the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper, on June 6 of that year Makepeace threw a large rock at a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through window in Portsmouth. He told police officers that he broke the window in order to have a place to sleep in jail. He was charged with felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor reckless conduct and landed in jail for a brief period. Days later, police officers were summoned to a local hospital where Makepeace refused to leave an examination room and threatened the staff. He was charged and pleaded guilty to criminal trespass in that case.

Three days later, the homeless man was again involved in an incident at a Burger King in Portsmouth. Makepeace was in the dining area and made threats about his intentions to hurt someone. An employee called the police and Makepeace demanded to be transported to the hospital but police refused, the paper reported. Makepeace responded by lying down in the fast food restaurant’s drive-through area. Makepeace did not contest being held without bail as his cases were pending, the newspaper reported. The paper reported that Makepeace, who said he was a native of Albany and a former member of the Crips gang, was turned away from the local homeless shelter multiple times.

In January 2011, Makepeace pleaded guilty to the Burger King incident and received time served, according to the newspaper.

Read more: www.timesunion.com