Man Reportedly Terrorizes Local Arcade, Smashes Vintage Machines
New Orleans' Sea Cave arcade has been subjected to two days of attacks, with the assailant smashing arcade cabinets and threatening customers.
A New Orleans arcade and bar has been broken into over the weekend, suffering damages to vintage arcade cabinets and other equipment totalling between $30,000 and $50,000, Kotaku reports. The assailant had reportedly been a member of Sea Cave for a short time, and referred to himself as "The Wolf".
According to a post made by Sea Cave Arcade on Facebook, the incident started around 7:30 PM on Sunday night after arcade owner Judah Lea confronted a man who was vandalizing one of the arcade cabinets with stickers. When asked to leave, the man made threats of violence against the owners and other customers present, as well as demanded a refund on his membership fee. Lea obliged, and asked him to leave.
Once outside, the man allegedly pulled out a knife, which he used to threaten people before walking off. He soon returned to put a bicycle lock on the door to trap employees and customers inside the building, and smashed one of the glass doors. Customers and staff who witnessed the event have said that the man was making threats, including saying that he owned an assault rifle. Those inside escaped out a back door and called police, but the man had left before they arrived.
The man once again returned to the arcade later that night, after everyone had left the premises for the night. He started smashing windows, but once again left before the cops arrived. He came back a third time, this time doing major damage to the contents of the arcade, smashing every single cabinet screen and monitor he could find. He also broke the electrical meter and the gas meter, and vandalized locks with glue.
The owners of the barcade put out a warning about the man on Facebook, saying they had tailed him around the city but he hadn't been apprehended yet. The man returned one more time late on Monday night, as reported by Nola.com, when a small group of Sea Cave regulars had gathered at the bar to help clean up. According to witnesses on the scene, the man was brandishing a gun and yelling: "Tell them to shut down. I'm cartel."
The man, who has now been identified as Mitchell S. McNeely IV, was finally apprehended by police that night at around 11:45 PM, and has been charged with aggravated assault, simple criminal damage to property, criminal mischief and false imprisonment.
Sea Cave now has a long road to go in restoring the arcade, with many of the damaged cabinets having been hand-painted and restored by owner Judah Lea himself. Lea has started a GoFundMe to help cover any costs that won't be covered by insurance, as well as helping keep staff paid while the arcade is closed. The arcade is also open to donations of specialized hardware, with many of the damaged machines containing rare parts that are no longer in production.
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