A Chicopee man was arrested twice within about four hours Sunday, first in connection with spray painting “Dalai Lama” on the side of a building, and then for allegedly smashing a business’s door and threatening to hit a store clerk with a guitar, police said.
Adam Welshimer, 36, of 898 McKinstry Ave., was first arrested and charged with tagging property after Chicopee police were called to the Exchange Street shopping plaza at 5:10 p.m. When officers were called back there at 9:10 p.m., Welshimer picked up charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, and vandalizing property.
“This doesn’t happen very often, but, when it does, we all shake our heads…..,” police wrote on the department’s Facebook page.
When police were called to the plaza at 209 Exchange St. just after 5 p.m., officers found black writing on the side of a building. Welshimer reportedly saw the responding officers and went into one of the stores. When police caught up with him, they found that his hands had black ink on them.
“Don’t arrest me, I will wash it off, it’s just food coloring,” the suspect allegedly told police.
After Welshimer was put in a police cruiser, officers went to where the paint was — “Dalai Lama” was sprayed on in two places, police said. Police discovered that the words were sprayed on with paint, not food coloring.
Welshimer was processed at the police station and released on $140 bail at 7:35 p.m., according to police.
But police were called back soon afterward for “an undesirable, unwanted customer” in the same shopping plaza. When an officer arrived, he saw a man running down nearby Cabot Street with a guitar.
When the officer went inside Family Dollar, he noticed the door had “a large, spider web” crack.
“He ran out the door, it’s the same guy you just arrested,” a store clerk told the officer.
Police found Welshimer on Cabot Street. He reportedly yelled, “What the [expletive] man, I didn’t do anything.”
Welshimer was handcuffed and taken back to Family Dollar. The victims told police that when Welshimer went into the store, one of the workers asked him to leave, saying that “he was not welcome.” That’s when the suspect allegedly spat in the worker’s face a couple of times and yelled a string of expletives.
“The clerk had to push the suspect back with her hands, as he kept getting into her face,” police said. “He was again told to leave. The suspect then raised his guitar, threatening the clerk that he would hit her with it.”
As Welshimer left the store, the worker tried to close the door. The suspect allegedly kicked the glass, according to police.
Welshimer was taken back to the police department and placed in the cell he had just been in several hours before; bail was set at $1,040, police said. He was taken to court Monday morning.
Officer Michael Wilk, the department’s public information officer, noted that the department’s cells had just been “extensively remodeled” with “new paint and [a] state of the art flushing toilet system.”
“The company did an amazing job, however, IMO, not enough to want to come back for a repeat stay less than 2 hours later,” Wilk wrote.