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Homeless man arrested after allegedly punching and breaking McDonald’s sign

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Lakshmana James Haberland, 35, was arrested yesterday and charged with criminal mischief with damage to property over $1000.

At about 7:20 p.m. last night, Haberland was outside the McDonald’s on Archer Road when he got into an argument with a friend who was passing by on a bike and allegedly punched and broke the sign outside the business. A witness reported that while stopped in traffic, she saw Haberland walking in the roadway between vehicles and then talking to a man who was riding by on a bicycle on the sidewalk. She said that Haberland then became angry and punched the McDonald’s sign, causing it to shatter.

The responding Gainesville Police Department officer reported that the sign at the southeast corner of the business had a large hole at the bottom left corner and a broken light bar, estimated at about $1200 in damage.

Haberland is described as homeless in the report. Last year, he was convicted of trespassing after being warned that the I-75 ramp at Newberry Road is FDOT property and that he could not stand there and ask for money. He was unable to post bail for the first-degree misdemeanor and served 44 days in jail before pleading nolo contendere and being sentenced to time served. On previous charges (in 2011 and 2013), he completed mental health court requirements in one case and was judged incompetent to stand trial in another. He is being held on $2000 bail.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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