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Suspected Cop-Car Window-Smasher Pleads Not Guilty

The brazen attack was done in front of cameras and Superman and Darth Vader near Hollywood & Highland.

A man police believe smashed a squad car's windows in Hollywood this week is expected to be charged with three felonies. A man Patch file photo.
A man police believe smashed a squad car's windows in Hollywood this week is expected to be charged with three felonies. A man Patch file photo.

A man who police say was caught on camera smashing the windows of an LAPD patrol car outside the Hollywood & Highland complex and taking a computer from the front seat was charged today with three felony counts.

Leyston Rice, 27, pleaded not guilty to one count each of vandalism, burglary from a vehicle and grand theft. His bail was set at $20,000. 

Rice is due back in court Feb. 26, when a date is expected to be set for
a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial.

The vandalism was caught on videotape by witnesses, including a local news crew, on Tuesday afternoon. On the footage, Rice can be seen using metal stakes to smash the patrol car's windows and then removing a laptop computer, according to Deputy District Attorney Kaarin Axelsen.

Rice walked a few feet away, opened the laptop and began pushing buttons, according to the prosecutor. He was then swarmed by a group of police and taken into custody.

The crime occurred as tourists walking along Hollywood Boulevard and entertainers dressed as movie characters such as Superman and Darth Vader looked on.

The initial estimate of damage to the patrol car is more than $2,600, according to the District Attorney's Office.

If convicted of the three charges, Rice faces up to three years in jail.

--City News Service

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