A Laramie man accused of breaking the windows at his local Chili’s restaurant and leaving a cryptic, threatening stack of letters outside his apartment door for law enforcement to find could face up to 11 years in prison.
The criminal case of William Coco, who turns 48 this year, rose to the felony-level Albany County District Court on Feb. 6.
An evidentiary affidavit filed in the case alleges that Coco was kicked out of a Chili’s restaurant in Laramie the evening of Jan. 25, then went back and broke the restaurant’s windows.
Laramie Police Department Officer Seth Meyer went to the restaurant just before 11 p.m. to investigate. He found a large hole in one window and cracks in three others, and glass shards inside and outside the restaurant, Meyer wrote in the affidavit.
He interviewed a female employee, who said she was sitting inside the manager’s office that night when she heard a loud crash. She called 911 and locked herself inside the office.
She and another witness said staff had asked a male customer loitering on the property earlier in the evening to leave.
That second witness spoke with the manager on shift via phone, and the manager identified the banished customer as Coco. The manager had dealt with Coco earlier in the day when he was loitering, the affidavit alleges.
The manager was able to identify Coco based on the physical description of the reported vandal.
The second witness suspected Coco caused the damage in retaliation for getting kicked out of Chili’s earlier in the evening.
A Letter For You
Meyer went to Coco’s apartment.
Just outside the apartment door, Meyer discovered 10 letters on the floor written in red pen on white paper, says the affidavit.
The letters reportedly teemed with slurs and explicit language toward law enforcement and other specific groups. One called out the Chili’s manager and leveled profane and inflammatory accusations against him.
“You need to die!!!” the letter to the Chili’s manager concluded, allegedly.
Meyer also found three shotgun shells and a broken knife on the floor by the door, the affidavit says.
He believed the letters and objects, altogether, were meant as a “message displayed for law enforcement,” Meyer wrote later in the affidavit.
A Little Marijuana
Meyer found Coco later that night, about 3 a.m., at the Travelodge Inn, says the affidavit.
The officer was trying to read Coco his Miranda rights but that wasn’t working out because Coco was reportedly agitated and hurling “profane and explicit statements” at Meyer and the other officers.
Meyer eventually handcuffed Coco and arrested him on suspicion of felony property destruction.
Another officer searched Coco, and she found a small soft case containing “suspected marijuana pipes,” says the affidavit. In the pipes, Meyer found 59.2 grams of plant residue, allegedly.
Albany County Attorney’s Deputy Ty Peterson charged Coco on Jan. 26 with one count of felony property destruction (punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines), and misdemeanor interference with police (punishable by up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines).
The case advanced to the felony court Feb. 6, and is ongoing.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.