It started as a lark, a dare to shoot up houses and cars with BB guns.
It was so much fun, according to court documents, that Caleb Aquino, 18, and Jonathon Yoder, 19, both of the 3500 block of Owaissa Way, spent four days straight – from Jan. 30 around 6 a.m. until Feb. 2 just after 10 p.m. – shooting out windows in cars and front doors and even a city-owned marked police vehicle. They shot their BB guns all over the city, court documents said.
Aquino remembered a chase off Maplecrest Road, but the two were able to elude their pursuer.
Both men were charged Thursday with five counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief and released on their own recognizance.
The vandalism included 44 different reports, resulting in 24 cases where victims submitted replacement costs or estimates to detectives. The total cost of damages was estimated at more than $16,000, court documents said.
The two were caught after an investigation involving four Fort Wayne detectives. One vandalism victim whose front storm door was shattered Jan. 30 told police he saw a gray Dodge Charger speed off.
Some of the victims turned in videos or still pictures from doorbell cameras or other surveillance systems. The gray Dodge Charger made several appearances in those videos. Police determined the Charger was owned by Aquino, court documents said.
After a school resource officer at Carroll High School discovered Yoder was a possible suspect in the BB gun shooting spree, she had contact with Yoder and took photos of two BB guns and an Airsoft gun in Yoder's vehicle. The probable cause affidavit did not say Yoder was a student there.
Detectives set up an interview with Aquino on March 6, but he failed to turn up. A detective called Aquino's mother, who brought in both boys “to tell the (detective) the truth.”
On March 9, Aquino told detectives the shooting was a dare to each other and “once they shot the first car, they just started shooting at cars all over the city for about six hours.” Then they continued all weekend, court records said.
Yoder said they were bored and were driving around and “then it got out of hand from there.” Aquino said he shot fewer cars because he was driving.
The Allen County Sheriff's Department also reported 19 reports of vehicles being shot in the county.
Aquino and Yoder have sentencing and restitution hearings set for May 14.