Last Sunday, Tera G. Harris, 25, of North Liberty, Iowa, was arrested after attempting to steal $564.91 worth of merchandise from a sporting goods store -- which she is banned from (probably for shoplifting.) Anywho, after eating dinner behind bars, she broke the jail's specially made plastic spork and now she's facing 30 days in jail and a $625 fine.
Police said that after finishing her meal, Harris could be seen on video bending her reusable spork against her tray until the utensil broke. Harris allegedly told jail staff it broke while she was trying to cut her roast beef. Harris now faces one count of fifth-degree mischief, a simple misdemeanor. Though additional jail time is unlikely, the minimum fine for a simple misdemeanor is $65. Police said the value of a bag of three dozen sporks is $15.99. Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said vandalism is not uncommon inside the jail, though this is the first he’s heard of a utensil being the vandalized property. “We do have people who routinely vandalize property in the jail,” he said. “The more common one would be the phones.” Pulkrabek said he has not spoken to the deputy who charged Harris but said, generally speaking, deputies have to look at how egregious the vandalism is and if the suspect is honest about his or her actions. Generally speaking, officers will take honesty into consideration when deciding whether to file minor charges, Pulkrabek said.
Update: The criminal mischief charge was dropped. Instead, jailers have decided to handle the case as a rule violation.