Businesses say vandalism spree just latest sign of growing problems in Rio Grande district

Posted at 9:55 PM, Sep 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-22 11:12:05-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A man with a broken patio umbrella went on a rampage in downtown Salt Lake City Wednesday afternoon.

Security video taken from the Rio Grande Hotel around 3 p.m. shows the suspect casually walking down 300 South with a broken patio umbrella before he starts whacking windows of businesses.

"We're just glad that none of our windows broke because they run about $400 to $650 a window," said Rio Grande Manager Jeff Baldwin. "The aggressive factor of his swings, he looked like a guy who was swinging for the fences at a baseball game."

Baldwin not only manages the hotel but also lives there. He takes this type of vandalism very seriously.

"A couple of the windows are in my bedroom, so I guess I take it a little personal," Baldwin said.


A mugshot of Allaeldin Abdelrahim (Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office)

This suspect, who has been identified by police as 39-year-old Alaeldin Abdelnahim, wasn't finished. Police say next he took his anger out on five parked cars.

"Head light, rear view bashed out, a lot of body damage," Pete Henderson said.

One of those damaged cars was parked right outside Henderson's Rio Grande Cafe. It belonged to an employee.

"They don't know where they are going to find the thousand dollars for their insurance deductible," Henderson said.

According to a probable cause statement, the combined damages are estimated to be above $5,000.

Police say Abdelnahim then walked down Rio Grande, turning his attention to our public safety personnel. The man began breaking lights on a police car and a fire truck. It just so happened a couple firefighters were assisting a woman with a medical condition nearby.

"This male came at them with a pipe, there were at least four firefighters there that sort of stood up to the man and sort of surrounded him, and that's when he dropped the pipe and they held him until he arrived," said Lt. Robin Heiden with the Salt Lake City Police Department.

These Rio Grande businesses would like to think that Wednesday's incident was something out of the ordinary, but the truth is they say they've actually gotten used to it.

"It's just getting worse and worse down here in this neighborhood," Baldwin said.

Henderson agreed.

"This is a result of many years of poor public policy, and I think it's time for it to change," Henderson said.

The suspect is facing charges of aggravated assault and felony vandalism.