200 Little Italy Residents Displaced Following Felony Vandalism

San Diego, CALIF- “He poses a great threat to the community as there are over 200 individuals, citizens in the community of Little Italy who cannot go home; they have essentially lost everything.” -Deputy District Attorney Nereida Melgarejo 

Deputy District Attorney Nereida Melgarejo didn’t mince words regarding 37-year-old Francisco Morales and his danger to the community.

Morales is accused flooding 1810 State street, a luxurious eight story apartment building in Little Italy. He has pleaded not guilty to dozens of charges.

1810 State Street, Little Italy

The judge raised Morales’ bail to one million dollars. Morales faces 45 counts of felony vandalism and 5 counts of assault intended to cause great bodily injury.

Waking Up To A Flood

An estimated 200 residents were displaced after the incident Monday morning.

Police say Morales opened pipes and used a fire hose to flood all eight floors of the building. Water from the hose and pipes made its way down to all floors, including the basement, according to authorities. Multiple witnesses said some residents were waist- or shoulder-deep in water as they tried to leave. Morales was arrested in the lobby of the apartment building that prosecutors said may have to be condemned.

The prosecutor declined to comment on how much prison time Morales could face if convicted, but did note at the defendant’s arraignment that he has no prior criminal record.

Morales, who’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail, is due back in court March 8 for a readiness conference.