Deputies: Drunk men vandalize businesses after falling into pond

Anthony Michael Rocco and Matthew Curtis Schoen
Anthony Michael Rocco and Matthew Curtis Schoen

BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Authorities say two drunk men from Austin, Texas vandalized five Beaufort County businesses in an attempt to get inside and keep warm after both fell into a pond.

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office arrested Anthony Michael Rocco and Matthew Curtis Schoen early Saturday morning and charged them with malicious injury to property.

It all started when deputies responded to the TD Bank on 62 New Orleans Rd. around 8 a.m. after an employee discovered a window at the business had been broken.

It appeared a bench outside had been used to smash the window. As deputies checked the area, they found other nearby businesses vandalized.

An incident report states Hilton Head Island Realty, Bill Jones Realty and Lowcountry Realty and Rentals were found to have smashed windows, overturned garbage cans and damaged lighting.

Investigators say the businesses were located in the Executive Center at 1 Corpus Christie Dr. Surveillance footage showed a man damaging the property. Authorities say the front window at Regions Bank on 18 Pope Ave. was also smashed with an ashtray.

A tip led investigators to the Metropolitan Hotel on 36 S. Forest Beach Dr. where employees confirmed that the individual seen on surveillance tape was a guest at the hotel.

According to witnesses, the suspect and another man came back to the hotel at 4:30 a.m. and noticed that both men were "extremely disheveled" with wet clothing and multiple cuts on their arms.

When deputies made contact with the suspects, both said they were in town for a wedding and had gone out Friday night for drinks. Both said they drank alcohol and became disoriented which led to both of them falling in a pond and getting lost in the woods.

According to the suspects, they vandalized the businesses with the intention of going inside to keep warm, but never made it into any of the offices.

The sheriff's office says the estimated damage to the five business total more than $10,000.

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