Man having 'bad year' cuts tires on 15 vehicles

HUDSON, NY (WTEN/CNN) - Some people in Hudson, NY,  are having a rough start to 2016. Police say a man slashed their tires, all because he says he was having a bad year.

"I came out and three of my tires were slashed so it's kind of shocking on New Year's Day," said Elizabeth Strickland, a Hudson resident. Strickland quickly learned she wasn't the only one who had that problem.

Joe Fierro, owner of American Glory Barbecue, was also parked in the Warren Street municipal parking lot. "Then the next car was flat, and the next car was flat and my other car was flat. And then my truck was flat so I knew something went awry," Fierro said.

Hudson police say 20-year-old Austin Willis slashed 46 tires on 15 vehicles early Friday morning and appeared to be intoxicated when officers say they caught him nearby holding this knife.

"It's insane, this is a coward's crime. Who does this?" Fierro said. Hudson police say Willis told them he was "having a bad year."

"Everyone goes through bad times, and it's unfortunate that he had to take it out on our vehicles because I love my truck," Strickland said. Repair costs are already adding up for Fierro and Strickland.

"They're $400 and he's going to cost me probably $250 and I'm into this for about a grand. And guess what my deductible is? A grand. Happy New Year," Fierro said.

"I really like my specific kind of tires so I'll just go look for them again probably like 600 bucks maybe, so we'll see," Strickland said.

Willis is charged with criminal mischief and criminal possession of a weapon among other charges. Fierro's son, also a victim, hopes Willis will be forced to pay restitution. "He should. There's no reason why I should," he said.

Many of the damaged vehicles remain in the municipal parking lot as Willis remains in the Columbia County Jail on $10,000 bail.

He's due back in court at a later date.

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