Dispute over $70 check leaves church in shambles - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Dispute over $70 check leaves church in shambles

ADVISORY>> Scroll down to below the comments section for a slideshow of the damage that the church sustained

SPOKANE, Wash. - A dispute over a $70 electrical repair bill apparently sparked a tirade overnight in which a Spokane man is suspected of smashing the glass out of his pastor's car, then ramming his pickup into a North Spokane County church.

After getting in to the church, deputies say the suspect broke nearly every window, television and computer monitor screen and lighting fixture in the building. Damages were estimated in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Police became aware of the suspect's activities when the pastor reported the windshield and windows smashed out of his vehicle which was parked at his house in the 600 block of E. Rich.  He named Mark Heitman as a possible suspect.

After reporting the damage to the vehicle, the pastor headed for the Country Crossroads Church in the 7000 block of N. Altamont. Deputies joined him and found Heitman's pickup truck smashed into the front of the church.

The truck had also been backed into other parts of the church, apparently in an attempt to gain entry. Inside, deputies found the church trashed with droplets of blood from apparent injury to the suspect.

Heitman was located by deputies at an automotive shop in the 2900 block of North Nevada.  He was speaking with the shop's owner and was taken into custody.

Heitman was later booked into the Spokane County Jail on felony counts of Second-Degree Burglary and Malicious Mischief.

Deputies believe the rampage was the result over a $70 electrical bill for work Heitman had performed at the church. He apparently wanted to be paid in cash and the treasurer wanted to pay with a check.

- Spokane County Sheriff's Office

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