Helena vandalism suspect appears in court

Several incidents of vandalism have been reported in Helena that had vulgar and offensive imagery
Posted at 8:19 AM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 10:19:45-04

HELENA — A man arrested in connection with a string of vandalism across Helena made his first appearance in court Thursday.

21-year-old Durbin Tabb of Helena is accused of vandalizing multiple buildings and vehicles early Monday morning, including the Cathedral of St. Helena. He is charged with one count of felony criminal mischief for most of the damage, along with another count of either criminal mischief or malicious intimidation or harassment for the damage to the cathedral. Prosecutors are seeking an enhanced sentence for that offense because it was directed specifically at a building used for religious worship.

Helena police reported at least five buildings and 10 vehicles were defaced, including those belonging to residents and staff at Touchmark Retirement Community. According to court documents, the graffiti included symbols and vulgar imagery – and at the Cathedral, anti-religious phrases. Documents say the total damage was estimated to be more than $10,000, including $3,000 to $5,000 to the Cathedral alone.

According to documents, officers identified Tabb as a suspect on Tuesday and then matched his vehicle to one seen on surveillance video. They say investigators detained Tabb for an interview, and he admitted driving around with others and spray-painting buildings, signs and vehicles.

Durbin Tabb

Documents say Tabb also admitted to breaking a car window and spray-painting two other cars earlier in the year.

On Thursday, Justice of the Peace Mark Piskolich released Tabb on his own recognizance, but ordered him to remain law-abiding and stay away from the Cathedral.