Suspect in custody after water damages Cape Girardeau businesses

Travis Fornkohl (Source: Cape Girardeau PD)
Travis Fornkohl (Source: Cape Girardeau PD)
There is quite a mess inside.
There is quite a mess inside.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - It might have been a prank, but no one's laughing. A vandal did quite a number on a Cape Girardeau office building, damaging several businesses.

His weapon was water.

Police arrested a suspect Friday in connection with the crime. Travis Fornkohl has been charged in connection to the property damage.

Cleaning crews have been inside Auburn Place on William Street all week long. There is quite a mess inside.

It all started Saturday night when someone turned on the water and flooded several offices, temporarily shutting down some businesses.

"There was 2-3 inches of water covering everything," said Dr. Thomas Critchlow from The Vein & Esthetic Centre.

Critchlow hasn't seen any patients all week because he had to close up shop.

"I've pretty much been assuring people we'll be back open on Tuesday," said Critchlow.

His practice was a wet mess, and so were many others.

The owner of Med Stop One also had to temporarily close. The owner considered it a real inconvenience for patients at that doctor's office.

It all started around 8 p.m. Saturday when an alarm sounded sending out the fire department.

"They got out there and saw water damage and water running down the stairs," said Darin Hickey with the Cape Girardeau Police Department.

Water gushed out of a pipe in a stairway on the sixth floor, and it's mainly there only for fire crews to use in an emergency situation.

It came out pretty strong, damaging a wall, then sent water rushing down several flights of stairs.

"Our detectives got involved to look into what caused this," said Hickey. "We determined it was an intentional act, been several hundred thousand dollars in damage done to the building."

Police are now looking for a man who was caught on surveillance cameras the night of the crime. Officers want to hear from you if you have any idea who he could be.

He certainly didn't make too many new friends.

"The person who did this wasn't very smart," said Dr. Critchlow.

The building is owned by Drury who tells Heartland News there are about 17 tenants inside.

According to Drury, about six tenants were affected.

Some of the 17 tenants include not only medical professionals, but also some federal offices.

The vandal investigators are now looking for faces felony property damage charges.

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