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Jail restroom down after $5K vandalism

A man faces felony charges following accusations that he engaged in a downtown Medford vandalism spree Tuesday morning that left a public restroom at the Jackson County Jail shuttered.

Steven James Wilson, 31, allegedly vandalized a Medford church, the Medford police station and the jail lobby.

At about 6 a.m. Tuesday, Wilson allegedly dismantled a concrete bench at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the 300 block of Oakdale Avenue and threw it through a double-pane window in the church’s parish hall, according to documents filed by Medford police. Damage was estimated at about $400.

A half hour later, Wilson allegedly walked into the jail lobby in the 700 block of West Eighth Street and flooded the womens restroom, then pulled a panic alarm at the Medford police station in the 200 block of South Ivy Street. The flooding caused about $5,000 in damage to the restroom, according to court documents.

Jackson County Circuit Court records show one prior arrest for Wilson, and it occurred last week. At about 8:30 a.m. Nov. 6, Medford police arrested Wilson after he allegedly exposed himself to a Medford police officer and a group of neighbors from his open second-story apartment window, in the 3000 block of Sheraton Court, then exited a first-floor window armed with a baseball bat.

Police say Wilson ran to a neighbor who was smoking a cigarette on her back patio and gave her a bear hug before police deployed a Taser. The jail released him two days later, after Wilson appeared in court on charges of unlawful use of a weapon, criminal mischief, public indecency and menacing.

Wilson was being held Wednesday afternoon in jail on $15,000 bail on a charges of first-degree criminal mischief and second-degree criminal mischief.

According to a sign posted Tuesday at the jail lobby, the women’s restroom is expected to be out of service for two weeks, which means one fewer public restroom available for homeless people in downtown Medford.

First Presbyterian Church of Medford pastor Murray Richmond, whose church is located next to Alba Park, said the homeless population was already struggling with places to use the restroom after the city removed a portable toilet from the park in September.

Richmond said his staff finds human feces on church grounds almost every day, and more in the last week or two.

The city installed the portable toilet in April of 2017. In September, city staff told KTVL that the toilet was removed because it was “vandalized and misused to the extent that it became a hazard to maintain.”

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

Steven James Wilson