Homeless man arrested for breaking glass in Starbucks door


Bernard John Rutkowski, 45, was arrested yesterday evening after allegedly stealing an energy drink and threatening someone at a hotel and then kicking and breaking the glass in a door at a nearby Starbucks. His address is given as GRACE Marketplace, and his occupation is given as “homeless.”

At 6:18 p.m. yesterday, a Gainesville Police Department officer was dispatched to a report of a theft at the Hampton Inn & Suites downtown. While the officer was en route, a second call was received regarding an alarm at the nearby Starbucks. Rutkowski was seen walking near Starbucks and interviewed by the second responding officer. Rutkowski allegedly gave a false name to the second officer, walked away from the officer, and refused to stop when commanded to do so.

The officer placed Rutkowski in handcuffs. The victim from the Hampton Inn identified Rutkowski as the man who allegedly stole his energy drink and then, after being confronted, allegedly pulled “something shiny” from his pocket and pointed it at the victim. The victim, thinking it was a knife, called 911.

Post Miranda, Rutkowski admitted to taking the drink and then walking to Starbucks, where he kicked in the door, thinking the store was open. He said he did not know that kicking the door would break the glass. Rutkowski also reportedly said he pulled his cigarette lighter from his pocket when the victim approached him. A glass pipe, used to smoke methamphetamine, was reportedly found in his pocket after arrest. The damage to Starbucks is valued at about $500.

Rutkowski has been charged with petit theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest without violence, giving a false name to an officer, and criminal mischief. He is being held on $25,000 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. 

  • “Come on down to Gainesville and get you some GRACE!
    That’s Gainesville’s Riches at Citizens’ Expense!
    Extra bonus money every month if you can get yourself charged with a felony and enter our guaranteed income program for felons – as seen on TV!
    We give you your meals and a place to stay.
    You are free to raise hell and harass the good people of Gainesville all day.
    You don’t want to miss downtown, Sorority Row, Midtown, The Standard, and our other attractions.
    And don’t forget about our buses – they have a/c and comfortable seating.
    Bring your own fighting knife and cardboard/markers.
    Fee Biden/Harris drug paraphernalia kit available upon request.”

  • WTF is wrong with the 3% voters? It’s obvious GRACE was set up by the deep pocketed lawyer-judge lobby and bail bondsman Rodney Long, to make us a magnet for crime. DEFUND GRACE NOW.

    • …it was then commissioner & bail bondsman Rodney Long who pitched
      Hard for Grace Marketplace as part of “the 10 year plan to end homelessness”…he created the perfect criminal
      Environment that would ensure he would get bail bond
      Benefits for himself forever…
      Didn’t he get a real estate commission for the sale
      Of Moms Kitchen? Do you remember Maes Tavern?
      How about when his son said, “those are not my pants”
      When law enforcement found cocaine in his pockets.
      That’s a crazy story to say the pants that you are wearing are “not my pants”…remember that? And now
      5th Avenue no longer has its “arts festival” or whatever
      They called it that got busted for selling bootleg CD’s
      Or DVD’s by it’s vendors and 5th Ave has been gentrified with construction of huge buildings right now
      Where there used to be affordable housing.
      Yeah, Rodney got enriched from being an elected official
      And we are suffering from crime, vagrants, & panhandlers as the fruits of his efforts while a commissioner. Thanks for nothing Rodney…I wonder if
      He ever paid back those minority loans he received?…I’m with you on DEFUND GRACE NOW…
      GNV is not a sanctuary city for all the criminals, vagrants, panhandlers, & released prison inmates & crazies in the world to
      Come to…

      • They need to nip this panhandling in Street medians
        In the bud…the situation is getting worse because of
        The ineptitude of the city commission and its interim
        City manager. What will Mayoral Candidate and Ex-GRU general manager Biekarsky do to save our city as part
        Of his platform?

  • The BUMS rule this county, thanks to the POE/HOE regime and the BOCC schmucks. Get rid of them now. They keep moving out past I-75 and the citizens will round them up and deposit them into Lake Alice for swim practice!

  • Talk about caffeine addiction. Where’s the Soup Nazi when you need one?

    Worth noting is a visitor/tourist/parent staying at the downtown Hampton Inn will take this offense committed home with him and tell others and probably post on social media.

    Great PR work city commissioners.

    • I met a traveling nurse who said she wouldn’t stay
      Downtown at the Hampton anymore because she
      Didn’t feel safe with all the panhandling bums there..
      She said she would be getting accommodations on
      The west side of town..

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