At one point or another, we’ve all probably ended a relationship that just wasn’t working out. When convicted felon Richard Fay learned his girlfriend was moving on, he didn’t take the news too well and responded by spray painting walls and damaging her house.
Despite causing thousands of dollars in damage, Cañon City police declined to arrest Fay for vandalism.
Police initially defended their decision, but then said they would go back and speak with the officers involved in the case to make sure the case was handled properly.
“The garbage disposal was filled with rocks and pottery from the plants,” Monica Hansen said.
Monica Hansen’s dream home is now just a house in disrepair.
“In the fireplace, he (Richard Fay) burned a bunch of stuff including my children’s birth certificates,” she said.
Hansen’s breakup — let’s just say was not on good terms. Richard Fay decided to cut electrical cords, burn pictures of her three kids and spray paint vulgar phrases and words on the wall.
Hansen feared for her safety and vacated the home prior to the vandalism.
A mail carrier called police after noticing the front door was open and graffiti had been spray painted on the walls.
Fay caused more than $10,000 in damage.
“I worked my butt off for what I just lost,” Hansen said.
Hansen was in for yet another surprise when she went to file an insurance claim for damages.
“I called my insurance company to try and get my paperwork done for the claim and they said they couldn’t find a police report,” Hansen said.
News 5 Investigates discovered Cañon City police never filed an incident report until January 17—two months after the home was vandalized. The officer’s report was only filed at Hansen’s request.
In the police report, Fay admitted to officers that he destroyed the home, yet police only arrested him for drug possession.
Lead Investigative reporter Eric Ross asked Sgt. Tim Bell, “Why was Mr. Fay not charged with vandalism?”
“The house was jointly owned by both the victim (Miss Hansen) and the suspect (Richard Fay),” he said.
However, News 5 Investigates obtained mortgage records and found no evidence that Mr. Fay was a homeowner.
We gave this information to Sgt. Bell and asked him how the police department determined Mr. Fay was a joint owner of the house.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m probably going to have to refer that to the district attorney or get with the officer and find out how she knew that,” he said.
And remember the post office worker who called police to report the graffiti?
“That call came in as a suspicious man,” Sgt. Bell said. “You need to understand that this was not reported as criminal mischief.”
However, call log reports obtained by News 5 Investigates dispute that information. Dispatchers coded the call as “criminal mischief.”
“I don’t know,” Bell said. “I’ll have to get back with the original officer.”
Fay is currently in jail on unrelated charges. Without a felony vandalism charge, Hansen fears it’s only a matter of time before he gets out.
“The police system needs to change,” Hansen said. “It’s failing miserably. There needs to be consequences.”
Hansen was reimbursed for some personal property that was destroyed but she is still awaiting access to a $10,000 check for damages.
It’s unclear whether that check would have been processed faster had Fay been charged with vandalism.
Bell said he would go back and talk with the responding officer about the case, but told News 5 Investigates that the officer’s next shift isn’t until Sunday.
We’ll continue tracking this case and bring you updates online at KOAA.com as new information becomes available.