Jennifer Millman

Police Arrest Serial LinkNYC Vandal With Brick Who Terrorized Manhattan

A total of 42 kiosk screens were damaged in the course of a single week, police said

What to Know

  • A vandal smashed the screens on more dozens of LinkNYC kiosks in Manhattan over a week-long spree, authorities say
  • In total, 42 kiosks were damaged, police said Wednesday; only 30 had previously been reported smashed
  • Police have arrested Juan Rodriguez, 41, in connection with the damage. He faces several counts of third-degree criminal mischief

A vandal who allegedly smashed dozens of LinkNYC kiosks throughout Manhattan has been arrested, police say. 

Juan Rodriguez, 41, was arrested and charged with several counts of third-degree criminal mischief in connection with the vandalism, the NYPD said Wednesday. 

His attorney information wasn't immediately available. 

Cops said the bearded vandal was caught on surveillance camera throwing bricks or other blunt objects at 42 of the kiosks over a week-long spree, from April 16 through April 23. They released surveillance video of one case in which the man is clearly seen holding a brick, winding up his arm and smashing the screen.

Earlier this week, a LinkNYC spokesperson had said only 30 were damaged. 

“LinkNYC provides a valuable public service to many of the city’s most vulnerable,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “When people vandalize Links, they impede on its ability to fund and deliver these services.”

The number people call the most using the kiosks’ tablet phone app is the EBT — Electronic Benefits Transfer — customer service line, according to the spokesperson. 

When LinkNYC surveyed kiosk users recently, 15 percent of people who responded said the kiosks were “their only high speed internet connection,” according to the spokesperson.

“That number goes up to 29 percent in some areas of the city,” the spokesperson added.

It wasn't immediately clear how many users were surveyed.

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