US man, 81, accused of menacing neighbors with slingshot, dies after release on bond | California

An elderly California man accused of menacing his neighborhood for almost a decade with a slingshot and ball bearings has died a day after bonding out of jail.

Prince King, 81, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a number of vandalism charges relating to what authorities said was a nine-year reign of terror in which he would maliciously smash windows of homes and vehicles in his Azusa community.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles county department of medical examiner said, Prince died at a private residence. According to California’s ABC7, no immediate cause of death was determined for Prince.

The senior, however, did suffer from a number of ailments – including heart issues and nerve problems in his leg and back – and took medication for some of them.

Lt Jake Bushey of the Azusa police department told reporters on Saturday that detectives learned most of the ball bearings were shot from the suspect’s backyard – and that he broke numerous car windshields as well as the windows of nearby residences.

“During the course of nine to 10 years, dozens of citizens were being victimized by a serial slingshot shooter,” the department said in a statement, adding that several people narrowly avoided being injured by ball bearings propelled at them.

Bushey told the Southern California News Group: “It’s been ongoing for many years because we just didn’t identify who the suspect was. We’re not aware of any kind of motive other than just malicious mischief.”

A search of Prince’s residence turned up a slingshot and metal ball bearings, though police did not say exactly how many.

Prince was released from custody after an initial court appearance on Tuesday, at which he was ordered to stay 200 yards away from affected homes and not contact any alleged victims. He had been due to attend his next hearing on 17 June.

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