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UW-Eau Claire student charged with damaging dorm basement

February 19, 2022 GMT

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — A UW-Eau Claire student faces felony charges after he allegedly caused thousands of dollars in damage to a dorm basement.

Prosecutors charged 21-year-old Zachary Cunningham of New Richmond on Thursday with felony burglary and criminal damage to property.

The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reported that the criminal complaint notes custodial staff discovered the damage in the basement of The Suites, an upperclassman dorm, on Feb. 2.

Several doors, a chair and two card swipe readers were damaged. Wiring had been ripped from the ceiling and insulation was scattered inside one room. Keys and a radio were missing from the custodians’ break room.

Surveillance video showed a male in the basement police identified as Cunningham, according to the complaint. Video taken from Cunningham’s shows him riding a floor scrubber and using it to ram into doors and on The Suites’ roof.

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Cunningham told officers during an interview he gained access to the basement by buying service keys on Amazon. He had visited the basement before, mostly to explore, but didn’t know why he damaged the basement. He said he had been drinking that night and his “thinking skills . . . were not ideal,” according to the complaint.