Man arrested after 20 windows smashed at Jacksonville City Hall, police say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Repairs were underway Friday afternoon after more than a dozen windows of Jacksonville’s City Hall were damaged overnight.

According to a Jacksonville Sherrif’s Office arrest report, Emanual Guilarte-Rodriguez, 62, was found face down Friday morning on the street outside City Hall, where 20 windows had been smashed.

A piece of rebar was found in the shattered glass. Investigators said that’s what Guilarte-Rodriguez used to vandalize the windows.

He was charged with criminal mischief and went before a judge Friday afternoon. He was ordered held on $75,000 bond, pending Feb. 24 arraignment.

The damaged windows at the West Duval Street building were covered with plastic Friday morning and by the afternoon, repairs had begun.

Damaged windows at City Hall (WJXT)

According to the arrest report, Guilarte-Rodriguez was sleeping in a camp a few blocks from City Hall, along with a friend. That friend is the one who called the police.

The friend spoke with News4JAX but asked not to be named. He said he heard “a bunch of noise” and then found Guilarte-Rodriguez on the ground.

“I guess he broke the windows on the door over and cut himself pretty bad. When I got here, he was laying down on the sidewalk waiting for the authorities to come and get him,” the friend said.

The report said Guilarte-Rodriguez had an injury on his left hand when he was found. He was taken to the hospital to be treated.

His friend told investigators Guilarte-Rodriguez had been having trouble for weeks while trying to get a driver’s license. He said he needed help getting the ID so he could get a job after being released from jail recently.

“People would not pay attention to him,” the friend said. “They would not listen to him. They wouldn’t try to help him.”

News4JAX learned Guilarte-Rodriguez has a long criminal history since arriving in the U.S. from Cuba. He’s been to prison six times and was released from a 20-year sentence in 2018. He was placed on probation from an assault charge in 2020 and was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.

About the Authors:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.