Crime

He was angry at the government, so he smashed dozens of windows. Now he’s paying for them.

A Sunday patron walks past windows that are covered in plywood after the weekend vandalism at the post office's Mount Baker Station on Orleans Street in Bellingham.
A Sunday patron walks past windows that are covered in plywood after the weekend vandalism at the post office's Mount Baker Station on Orleans Street in Bellingham. The Bellingham Herald

A Bellingham man who smashed more than 40 windows at a post office in late April will spend several years in prison and has to pay for the thousands of dollars in damage he caused.

Judge Deborra Garrett sentenced Michael Wayne Zick, 46, to three years in prison for one count of first-degree malicious mischief, a felony, in a Whatcom County Superior Court hearing on Tuesday morning.

Zick also is required to pay an estimated $20,000 in restitution.

On April 28, Bellingham police were called to the U.S. Postal Service facility at 3150 Orleans St for the report of someone smashing windows.

Several witnesses inside said they heard what sounded like a gunshot and saw some of the front windows break. A post office employee yelled for everyone to get on the ground, and later said he saw Zick using a crowbar to smash out the windows, according to court records.

When officers arrived, they found Zick with cuts on his fingers and broken glass on his boots. Zick told officers he broke the windows “in protest of the Federal government,” court records state.

Zick broke 44 windows in total and damage was estimated at $22,000.

He has previous convictions stretching back to 1992 for first-degree vehicle prowling, second-degree burglary, second-degree possession of stolen property and attempting to elude a police vehicle, according to court records.

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Windows were shattered in the Mount Baker Station's lobby, service area and hallways containing post office boxes. Robert Mittendorf The Bellingham Herald

At the time, this was the second such incident at a public building in a month.

Emmanuel Nathaniel Gonzalez, 31, served 50 days in jail for an April 12 window-breaking rampage at the Fairhaven Station, which serves as a terminal for Amtrak and Greyhound buses.

Gonzalez, who broke 31 windows, also caused more than $20,000 in damage. He pleaded guilty in May to felony first-degree malicious mischief.

Gonzalez, who was given credit for time served in Whatcom County Jail before the conviction, was released June 1.

Gonzalez had no prior felony criminal history in Whatcom County, according to court records.

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Around 31 windows were broken at the Fairhaven Station April 12. Damage was estimated between $20,000 and $30,000. A homeless man, who used rocks and a manhole cover to break the windows, was released June 1 after serving two months in jail for the damage. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald Bellingham Police Department

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt
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