ST. PETERSBURG — A 22-year-old man was arrested Thursday night on charges that he used a pellet gun to shoot and deface a banner memorializing fallen St. Petersburg Police Officer David S. Crawford.
Christopher Alexander Lipert vandalized the banner, which was hanging outside Anderson-McQueen Funeral home at 2201 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, according to St. Petersburg police. The damage: $300.
That was the day before Monday's viewing. It was also six days after police say a 16-year-old car thief shot and killed Officer Crawford in the line of duty the night of Feb. 21.
Lipert "bragged" to witnesses that he shot up the banner, police said, made disparaging remarks about law enforcement and that officers "deserve to be killed."
Officers said they arrested Lipert at a home where he was staying at 2140 22nd Ave. N around 10:15 p.m. Thursday. Lipert briefly struggled with officers after refusing to be handcuffed, police said, and they also found marijuana on him.
Lipert has "convict" tattooed on his right forearm, according to a police report, and his Florida Department of Corrections number on his left. His first arrest was at 16 for domestic battery, records show, and he has had numerous arrests for auto theft, domestic battery and burglary. He was 20 when he was sentenced to a year and a day of prison time for burglary in 2008.
While Lipert was being loaded into a transport van to be taken to jail, police say, he told them that his father and grandfather both did hard time. "He said he is a third generation convict and is proud of it," according to a police report.
Lipert was arrested on misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief, possession of marijuana, resisting arrest without violence and violation of pretrial release.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges on Friday. That's also when a judge revoked his bond; Lipert had been free on bail for five counts of burglary and a marijuana possession charge.
Lipert was being held without bail Friday in the Pinellas County jail.
Follow This Just In on Twitter.