The Modesto Police Department was drying out and officials were adding up the damage Thursday, the day after authorities said a suspect broke a ceiling sprinkler in a second-floor holding room, triggering a minideluge.
Sgt. Rick Armendariz, a department spokesman, said the water damage included desktop computers, cubicle partitions, drywall, carpeting and ceiling tiles. He said officials were tallying the cost of the damage.
"It was literally raining on the first floor," said Rodney DeHart, emergency serv- ices coordinator for Coit Modesto, which removed standing water from at least 3,000 square feet of flooring. He said Coit brought in 17 dehumidifiers and 33 industrial blowers to help dry out the building.
The police closed most of the first-floor lobby because of the water damage, but business continued as usual.
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Armendariz said all of the repairs should be completed within a week or less.
"At this point, it's more of an inconvenience," he said. "We are still providing services to the public."
Modesto resident Joseph Price McHenry, 33, was being held in a second-floor interrogation room holding cell about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday when, police say, he broke the ceiling sprinkler in the room, about 7 feet by 7 feet.
Armendariz said fire officials told him the sprinkler pumped out 350 gallons of water a minute. Firefighters had the sprinkler turned off 10 to 15 minutes after it started gushing water.
Much of the damage was in an administrative room below the interrogation room. The administrative room has about 20 cubicles, though Armendariz said only about half of them are used.
Animal control and parking enforcement are among the duties carried out in that room. Armendariz said workers were relocated and continued their work.
McHenry was arrested earlier Wednesday on suspicion of a probation violation and possession of methamphetamine. He now also faces charges of felony vandalism and tampering with fire equipment, Armendariz said. McHenry was in the Stanislaus County Jail on Thursday afternoon on $65,000 bail.
McHenry was not handcuffed while in the interrogation room. Armendariz said it's not uncommon for a suspect not to be handcuffed while in one of these secure rooms.
"My understanding is this guy was not combative, did not show any issues or concerns," he said, adding that the decision to handcuff a suspect is a judgment call made by officers based on a suspect's behavior, the crime and other factors.
Armendariz said police will review this incident, which, he added, is the first of its kind for the Police Department.
Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2316.