Paint car

This car at Carriage House Apartments in Kendallville was one of at least 44 vandalized after at least one teenager drove around spraying vehicles with paint.

KENDALLVILLE — Police have arrested a teenager who allegedly vandalized at least 44 vehicles by spraying orange paint from squirt guns.

Charges are pending against two other people who were reportedly involved in the incident early Sunday morning.

Mark L. Keene II, 19, of the 400 block of Kruger Street, Kendallville, was arrested on charges of criminal mischief in connection to the incident.

At approximately 3:50 a.m. Sunday morning, Kendallville Police Department officers were called to the 400 block of North Main Street to respond to a black Chevrolet Blazer sport utility vehicle. Several people were reportedly in the vehicle spraying paint.

Officers stopped the SUV and found three people inside. After talking with the occupants, police determined that Keene had allegedly been in the back of the vehicle firing orange paint out of two squirt guns at vehicles and other property.

As of about 3 a.m. Monday, police had collected damage reports about 44 vehicles, four street signs and three buildings that were tagged with paint.

Keene was taken to the Noble County Jail. He appeared in Noble Superior Court 2 for an initial hearing Monday afternoon.

Keene has been officially charged with one count of criminal mischief, a Class B misdemeanor. That level charge carries a maximum penalty of 180 days jail, if convicted. Judge Steve Hagen set bond at $6,500.

Keene has been to jail before. In November 2018, he was arrested on a charge of illegal consumption of an alcohol beverage. He pleaded guilty in December to a Class C misdemeanor of count of operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of .08% or more.

He served two actual days in jail and had 56 days suspended, with 361 days probation. In March, he admitted to a probation violation, had his probation revoked and was sentenced to serve three consecutive weekends in jail starting March 15.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

Anyone discovering damage related to the incident should contact the Kendallville Police Department at 347-0654.

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