Entrance, Wapello County Law Center

OTTUMWA — Deputies gave a Keokuk man his wish and returned him to jail after he sprayed a fire extinguisher around the Wapello County Law Center, creating an estimated $10,000 cleanup bill.

Gregorio Hernandez Jr., 39, of Keokuk, faces a felony charge of first-degree criminal mischief and willful disturbance for the bizarre scene. The criminal complaint said Hernandez was released from jail and, “within minutes” grabbed the fire extinguisher.

Hernandez “discharged it throughout the lower level of the building,” according to the complaint, which also said he “admitted to doing the act in hopes of returning to jail.”

The complaint lists multiple reasons for probable cause, including Hernandez being caught in the act, admitting to spraying the extinguisher, being identified by witnesses and being observed by officers. He has pleaded not guilty.

A preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 12.

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