An Ashland man is suspected of smashing in the front window of a downtown business with a planter and destroying merchandise inside while intoxicated early Friday morning, police said.

An Ashland man is suspected of smashing in the front window of a downtown business with a planter and destroying merchandise inside while intoxicated early Friday morning, police said.

Zachary Dane Plescia, 22, of the 1500 block of Oregon Street, was arrested on a charge of first-degree criminal mischief after admitting to damaging the Hatsetera store at East Main and South Second streets, Ashland police Deputy Chief Corey Falls said. Plescia is held in the Jackson County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Hatsetera owner Nancy Christmann said merchandise had been smashed and scratched and dirt was strewn about from the planter. The store sells hats, jewelry, handbags and other accessories.

"He knocked down everything in the front window," Christmann said. "Broken glass everywhere."

An Ashland police report shows the vandalism was reported at 3:49 a.m. when Patrolman Theron Hull was on duty.

"The officer was actually on patrol and saw the crash," Falls said.

Police interviewed three individuals in the area. They included Plescia, who admitted to doing it, Falls said. Plescia does not appear to have any additional criminal convictions in Jackson County, court records show. Police called Christmann around 5 a.m. to inform her of the damage.

Christmann was unable to provide a cost estimate to repair the damage but said the store has been cleaned up. She does not think the incident was a personal attack on her store.

Christmann said she has been in business since 2007 and believes these kinds of incidents have continued to increase in severity over time.

"I'm frightened as a business owner," she said. "It just seems to be quickly escalating."

Falls said police have responded to a few calls for vandalism lately, but he doesn't believe there's been an escalation.

"It happens every now and again," Falls said.

— Ryan Pfeil