Rejected panhandler attacks Spokane woman's car with hammer

A woman said her car sustained about $1,000 worth of damage from a hammer Monday night. Court documents identify the aggressor as a man she rejected as he was panhandling.

It happened outside a Shadle grocery store. The victim said the whole thing was bizarre.

"There was someone just right outside the door asking for spare change," Jennifer Semenza said. "I simply said nope."

She said she continued to load up her car with her groceries and then return her cart. Just as she was about to turn her car on, she heard a loud thud.

"I looked in my rear view mirror and didn't see anybody," she said. "I knew I didn't hit anyone because I hadn't even been driving yet."

She hopped out to investigate. That's when another shopper told her the man she had said "no" to had smashed her car with a hammer.

"The dent starts up here, then there's a real round perfect spot (where the hammer hit,)" she said. "The paint is starting to chip off."

Jennifer said she was told the dent will cost nearly $1,000 to fix. She tried to track down the suspect, identified by Spokane Police as James Cline, but he walked off.

Court documents show SPD believes he also stole from a nearby Wal-Mart. They arrested him about a block away from his alleged crimes.

Cline was in court Tuesday afternoon. He's since been released from jail. He will be back in court next month.

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