FLORENCE — A Florence man is facing charges after he allegedly threw rocks through the windows and doors of a church because of a bird.

According to Pinal County Superior Court records, Jesus Salazar, 42, is charged with aggravated criminal damage and criminal trespassing.

In early October, Florence Police officers responded to four reports of windows and glass doors being broken by someone throwing rocks at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Florence. The damage was estimated at $8,000.

A Pinal County Sheriff’s deputy helped Florence officers and the church set up surveillance cameras at the church.

On Oct. 20, the cameras recorded a man riding a bicycle in the parking lot. The man appeared to pick up something on the west side of the church.

On Nov. 1, a Florence Police officer noticed a bike matching the description of the one the man was riding in the surveillance photo near a carport at a home in the 1100 block of South Main Street.

The homeowner told the officer that the bike belonged to Salazar and that Salazar had recently been arrested for an unrelated crime. The officer showed the homeowner and other family members photos from the surveillance cameras at the church. The homeowner and family members allegedly told the officer that the man riding the bike in the photos looked like Salazar. They also told the officer that Salazar used to attend the church.

A Florence Police officer contacted Salazar near Elizabeth and Keating streets when he requested a civil standby so that he could retrieve his bike and some clothes from the home on South Main Street.

Salazar told officers that a woodpecker had been bothering him at the home on South Main Street and he had chased the bird to the church, where he threw rocks at it. He allegedly admitted to breaking at least two windows at the church in the process. He allegedly admitted to chasing the bird to the church and throwing rocks at it at least four times.


Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa is a reporter covering the city of Casa Grande and the surrounding area, as well as Central Arizona College. She can be reached at sadams@pinalcentral.com.

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