Police in Austin say Jason Travis Barclae had a prison wish.
And he’s accused of going to drastic lengths to get back there.
The 30-year-old was arrested early Tuesday morning after residents of a South Austin, Texas, neighborhood told KVUE he left the area “in chaos” after cars’ tires were slashed on Enchanted Lane.
In all, he popped 58 tires on 49 vehicles in the neighborhood, police told the TV station.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Officers responded to the neighborhood after residents complained of a man walking the block slashing tires just before 1 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Austin American-Statesman. When police arrived, they say Barclae was walking down the street wearing a backpack and holding a steak knife in his hand.
He was initially booked for suspicion of criminal mischief and admitted to slashing tires up and down the block, the newspaper said.
But according to an arrest warrant affidavit, he also admitted to setting fire to a home just one block to the east earlier that day, and doing the same to a trailer in the nearby town of Del Valle last week. The fire to the home on Clawson Road caused $60,000 in damage, investigators said in the affidavit.
Barclae told police that he was “sick of living in this neighborhood,” so he was doing as much damage as possible so he could go back to prison. He told authorities that he broke a bedroom window from the outside of the home two days prior to pouring lighter fluid in through the broken window and dropping a match, according to the affidavit.
“He figured if he racked up enough felonies, they would let him go back to prison,” the affidavit states.
And that’s exactly how the law works: He remained in Travis County Jail on Wednesday with bond set at $50,000, awaiting his day in court, according to jail records.
For people who live in the neighborhood, Tuesday morning was something of a nightmare.
“There’s a three-hour wait at Discount Tire because everyone flooded over there,” one neighbor told KVUE. “People are just wandering the streets helping people put donuts on their cars.”