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April 23, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Arrest made in vandalism at Commonwealth; bar fires three for handling of suspect

Map of Commonwealth

Commonwealth

525 E. Fremont St., Las Vegas

A 24-year-old man who allegedly caused some $20,000 in damage by his scrawling his graffiti moniker, “VOTER,” in permanent marker throughout the Commonwealth bar is being charged with a felony.

Manuel Fernandez is accused of damaging walls and a table surface at the bar, 525 Fremont St., in the early morning of Feb. 24.

The warrant for his arrest says Commonwealth security spotted Fernandez vandalizing the property. The name “VOTER” was found etched into a large wooden table and written in large permanent marker in the bar and bathroom.

When approached, Fernandez admitted he caused the damage, then he dropped his drink and ran, the warrant alleges.

Security held him until police arrived. He was not charged right away, the warrant says, because Fernandez was transported to a hospital for treatment of injuries “received during his attempt to elude” security.

In fact, Commonwealth management has confirmed three employees were fired after the incident for their handling of the matter.

The cost to replace the bar’s wallpaper, much of which is hard-to-find newspaper pages from decades ago, was estimated at $2,000; damage to the table’s reclaimed wooden top was estimated at $18,000.

If found guilty, Fernandez could face incarceration of one to four years, though state sentencing guidelines dictate he would likely get probation instead. He also could be forced to pay up to $5,000 in fines, plus restitution.

Despite Fernandez's "VOTER" moniker, Clark County online voter registration records show no evidence that anyone with Fernandez’s name or birthdate has voted.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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  1. He will get a slap on the hand and he will never pay for the damages he has caused.

    The "guidelines" need to be reviewed for people doing this type of damage to others property.