Screamin' Mimi's ice cream shop in Sebastopol vandalized, woman arrested

A woman suspected of using a broken decorative planter Monday to break three large store windows of a popular downtown Sebastopol ice cream shop remained in custody Tuesday in the Sonoma County Jail.

Leslie Renee Nielsen, 45, was arrested Monday after witnesses alerted Sebastopol police to the vandalism, said Sebastopol police Sgt. Greg DeVore.

DeVore was just starting his shift Monday at 6:30 a.m. and leaving the downtown police station when a downtown worker stopped him to report a woman had broken a storefront window at Screamin’ Mimi’s.

At the ice cream shop, the sergeant found planters and pots knocked over as well as broken windows. Another witness pointed DeVore toward the nearby plaza where the woman had gone, apparently tipping over a planter and a garbage can on the way.

“Then I hear screaming, a female voice screaming at the top of her lungs,” the sergeant said.

Nielsen was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism and taken to jail. She had no identification and her town of residence wasn’t known, DeVore said. Her bail was set at $5,000.

The damage was estimated at more than $3,000.

On Tuesday Screamin’ Mimi’s owner Kurt Olson was dealing with replacing windows. The colorful shop is partially boarded up but open for business.

“It was crazy. It was a lot of glass, it covered the entire front of the shop,” he said.

“It’s disappointing. It sounds like someone who clearly needs some help,” Olson said. “At least no one got hurt.”

- Randi Rossmann

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