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DA: Bathroom search led to vandalized churches
January 29, 2014, 05:00 AM Daily Journal Staff Report

Robert Banks

Prosecutors say a 21-year-old San Jose man accused of smashing in the windows of three East Palo Alto churches within close proximity of each other on an early Sunday morning had more secular needs in mind.

After his arrest, Robert Banks told authorities he needed to use the bathroom but he could not find such facilities in any of the churches, according to the District Attorney’s Office

At about 4 a.m. Jan. 26, East Palo Alto police reported finding Banks smashing one church window with a shovel and nearby found two other churches with similarly broken windows. The three facilities vandalized are Church of the Living God and Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, both on Pulgas Avenue, and Open Door Church of God on O’Connor Street. The damage is estimated at more than $5,000.

Banks was charged with three felony counts of vandalism and pleaded not guilty to all charges. He sought a court-appointed attorney at his felony arraignment and returns to court Feb. 24 for a preliminary hearing estimated to last an hour.

Banks was released on his own recognizance but ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from all three churches.

 

 

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