Slingshot Tormentor Dies: 81-year-old Arrested for Vandalism Passes Away in Azusa


Azusa, California – An 81-year-old man who allegedly tormented a Southern California community with a slingshot for years has died just days after being arrested, authorities say.

According to police Sgt. Nick Covarrubias, the man was discovered dead Wednesday evening at a home in Azusa, which is east of Los Angeles.

“We didn’t find any evidence of foul play,” Covarrubias told the Southern California News Group.

The guy died of arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, according to the medical examiner’s office, which declared the death natural.

On Tuesday, the guy was freed on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty to five counts of criminal vandalism and two counts of misdemeanor vandalism. According to police, the man was arrested on May 23 on suspicion of damaging windows and automobile windshields, as well as nearly missing individuals with slingshots loaded with ball bearings. There were no injuries recorded.

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During an investigation, police “learned that over 9-10 years, dozens of citizens were being victimized by a serial slingshot shooter,” according to an Azusa Police Department statement released last week.

Officers serving a search warrant discovered a slingshot and ball bearings at the man’s Azusa home, according to police.

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Azusa police Lt. Jake Bushey said Saturday that detectives discovered that the majority of the ball bearings were fired from the suspect’s backyard.

“We’re not aware of any motive other than malicious mischief,” Bushey told the news organization.

While police suspected him of vandalizing windows in his neighborhood for nearly a decade, the LA County District Attorney’s Office charged him with vandalism between October 2021 and May 2024.

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