painted window

The window of the Democratic Party headquarters on Main Street was spay painted recently. The headquarters have been vandalized five times this past month.

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The Democratic Headquarters on Main Street Ellensburg was vandalized five times this month, allegedly all by the same suspect.

Jason Gates, 48, of Ellensburg allegedly returned to the building multiple times to deface the windows and pile up leaves in front of the door. He also allegedly stole an American flag from Rodeo City BBQ. In security camera footage, it appears that Gates allegedly painted on the flag and left it on the ground in front of the Democratic headquarters.

Democratic Chairman Steve Verhey said no damage was caused that couldn’t be cleaned up, and they are pursuing the option of a restraining order against Gates. Verhey said Gates allegedly has only vandalized the building during weekends, so they are going to be watching for him to come back.

“He does not seem to be able to stay away,” Verhey said. “He will do something and start to leave, then get another idea and come back.”

Verhey said they are used to people making rude gestures at the building, with some people going as far as to spit at them, but this behavior is uncommon.

Gates was arrested by the Ellensburg Police last weekend. He was booked into the Kittitas County Corrections Center at 1:21 p.m., May 17 and released at 1:54 p.m., May 18.

According to the Kittitas County Corrections Center website, Gates is facing recommended charges of three counts third-degree malicious mischief, two counts of second-degree criminal trespass, obstructing/resisting arrest and third-degree theft. His bail was set at $4,500. He is scheduled to be in Lower District Court on June 17.

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