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Alleged Smasher of LAPD Patrol Car Pleads Not Guilty

A man who allegedly smashed the windows of an LAPD patrol car in front of tourists in a busy area of Hollywood appeared in court Thursday, pleading not guilty to multiple criminal charges.

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A man bashed in the windows of a patrol car on Hollywood Boulevard Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

Leyston Rice, 27, was charged with one count each of vandalism, burglary from a vehicle, and grand theft, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

In an incident caught on camera by a KTLA photographer in the area, Rice allegedly bashed in the windows of a parked Los Angeles Police Department patrol car and then removed a laptop computer from the vehicle.

He has first yelled “I love Jesus Christ” before smashing the windows with two metal construction stakes, according to Victor Vargas, the photographer who witnessed the incident. Vargas called 911 as he continued to film the car-bashing.

Rice was identified as the suspect on Wednesday, a day after the incident.

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Leyston Rice appears in court in Los Angeles on Feb. 13, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

The attack occurred in front of the Hollywood & Highland shopping center as costumed villains and superheroes — tourist attractions along the Walk of Fame — looked on.

Security officers detained Rice until police arrived, according to the DA’s office.

Rice threatened officers, a prosecutor said at his arraignment.

The damage to the patrol car was initially estimated at more than $2,600, the DA’s office stated.

Rice faces up to three years in jail if convicted on all counts.

He was being held on $20,000, and was due in court again Feb. 26, online inmate records show.