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Racine police say an 18-year-old man was taken into custody and charged after he stole a stop sign out of the ground and then accused police of brutality when he kicked an officer during his arrest.

Rudy Cavazos was charged Monday in Racine County Circuit Court with one misdemeanor charge each of Rudy Cavazoscriminal damage to property, theft, obstruction, and disorderly conduct. If convicted, he faces up to 2-1/2 years in prison and/or up to $31,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, officers were called at 10:37 p.m. Saturday to the corner of Hamilton and Superior Streets for a report of a missing stop sign. When police arrived, a man told them he had observed the defendant and a friend wrestle the stop sign out of the ground and drag it to Cavazos’ home. The man told officers that when questioned, Cavazos told the man he was taking the sign to wash off the graffiti.

Police say that when they went to Cavazos’ home, he denied anything about taking the stop sign. But, when asked if they could check the backyard, the defendant admitted the sign was there though he didn’t know how or why it was there. City DPW workers arrived and¬†installed a temporary stop sign.

Cavazos was taken into custody and immediately started yelling obscenities at officers and boasting that the charges wouldn’t stick, the complaint reads. While police were unlocking their squad car, Cavazos shuffled his feet and struck an officer’s foot. The defendant then yelled that police hit his foot and that all Racine officers are corrupt.

The defendant remains in the Racine County Jail on a $400 cash bond. His pre-trial conference is scheduled for June 4.