Officers had prior contact with transient in police vandalism case |

Officers had prior contact with transient in police vandalism case

A Nevada City man who told The Union earlier this year he was homeless remained jailed Monday in connection with last week’s vandalism of the Grass Valley Police Department, reports state.

Adam Michael Cockrell, 35, was booked Friday into the Nevada County Jail on a felony vandalism charge. He has a $10,000 bond, jail records state.

Cockrell’s motive appeared to stem more from his previous interactions with the police than from any connection to the Black Lives Matter movement, said Capt. Steve Johnson.

Cockrell, who is from Florida, has no local address. He was cleared as a guest at Hospitality House in May 2019, and was cited for trespassing at the abandoned Freed Building on Nevada City Highway on June 30, 2019. On Aug. 24, 2019, Cockrell was arrested and booked on suspicion of trespassing at the same location after running from officers who were searching the building, Johnson said.

On Feb. 27, Cockrell was contacted while illegally camping on the property behind 265 Sutton Way, he added.

“He was advised of the camping and trespassing violations and told he needed to move from the property,” Johnson said. “He was offered local services.”

On April 8, Cockrell came to the police department and wanted them to provide a one-way ticket out of the state, which was not provided, Johnson said. Later that day, he tried to get into City Hall, which was closed due to COVID-19 guidelines.

“He caused a disturbance and was banging on the glass door,” Johnson said. “Officers contacted him, mediated the situation and he left the area.”

On July 29, Cockrell threw a rock at the police department lobby door, shattering the glass door. He also caused damage to interior equipment and broke a second large window, a press release stated.

Department video cameras captured Cockrell in the act of throwing the rock, and a video from a retail establishment in Grass Valley was located that showed him making a purchase a short time before the vandalism occurred. Cockrell was identified and arrested Friday in the 600 block of Sutton Way, the release stated.

In early April, Cockrell was interviewed by The Union and described himself as a homeless person unable to find shelter during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They’re leaving people out in the cold,” Cockrell said at the time, adding that many had not been able to get into shelters for lack of space.

The police department lobby reopened Monday morning after being closed for repairs since Wednesday night, Johnson said.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User