“Ex-lover damaged St. Paul councilman’s office..The dispute centered on attending caucuses…..
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BYLINE: Jackie Crosby
CREDITLINE: Star Tribune
HEADLINE: Woman vandalizes St. Paul council member’s office
A woman described as a disgruntled citizen confronted St. Paul City Council Member Jay Benanav in his office Wednesday night, smashed a potted plant and broke a picture on the wall.
The incident occurred at about 6:30 p.m., while dozens of people were attending a public meeting in council chambers just down the hall in the City Hall/Courthouse building. At the time, only a few people were in the council members’ offices which are locked after hours.
The woman may have entered with an aide to one of the council members. No arrests have been made, and police are classifying it as a property crime.
The council staff member who placed the call to police described the incident as
an assault, saying the woman had kicked Benanav. Benanav would not say whether he had been struck, but he showed no visible injuries. “I’m fine,” he said. He declined to say whether he knew the woman. “She was angry and threw a couple of things and left,” he said.
There were at least three other people inside the council offices at the time of
the incident. They said the woman threw some coat hangers and broke another potted plant before leaving.
A uniformed St. Paul police officer normally staffs City Council meetings. However, the officer was called away from City Hall minutes before the incident to work at an appearance by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry at nearby Macalester College, according to Council President Dan Bostrom.
Bostrom said the incident did not suggest a need for added security. Anyone entering the building must pass through a metal detector.
“Some kinds of things are going to happen no matter what kind of security you
have set up,” Bostrom said.
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