A 25-year-old Marquette man was arrested on Monday for tagging a dumpster, and police believe he may responsible for many more incidents of vandalism in the area. Alexander John Watanen is currently charged with malicious destruction of property and resisting and obstructing.
A witness saw Watanen running away from a dumpster on the 500 block of Hawley Street. The witness then saw the suspect jump on a bike and stop to write something on a sign. He then left the area. The Marquette City Police obtained a description of the suspect. They located Watanen on his bike, and he fled from police and was chased for several blocks. Police eventually apprehended him after he exited a wooded area.
Watanen faces a two-year felony count of assaulting, resisting and obstructing a police officer; two misdemeanor counts of malicious destruction of personal property less than $200; and one misdemeanor count of malicious destruction of a building.
Police said that Watanen had written the word Gerko on the dumpster and street sign in the 500 block of Hawley Street. The same word has been found in dozens of reports involving vandalism in Marquette City and Marquette Township and can be found in hundreds more locations around the city. Additional charges may be pending. NMU Public Safety and the Marquette County Sheriff Office assited the Marquette City Police.