Police say 38-year-old Nicholas Mullenmaster intentionally flushed “pounds” of nails down the toilets of several local businesses in the Eagen area, including Starbucks, Subway, Leann Chin, and a train station. Of course, you don’t need any professional plumbing training to know that nails aren’t flushable. Authorities attribute thousands of dollars worth of damage to the flushed nails, as they tore up the connected sewer systems.
The case began back in August, when nails were found in the sewer lines of a Subway restaurant on three separate occasions. On the third incident, a white middle-aged male was spotted on video surveillance entering and leaving the restroom. When a man matching this description returned to the Subway restaurant, the manager called police. The police questioned Mullenmaster, who denied allegations of flushing nails down the toilet. Without enough credible evidence, police were unable to arrest Mullenmaster at the time.
On September 3, police were dispatched to the Eagan transit station when nails were once again reportedly flushed down the toilet. After viewing video surveillance, they noticed a man matching Mullenmaster’s description entering and staying in the restroom for approximately 6 hours. Police also discovered a piece of mail in Nicholas Mullenmaster’s name when combing the area for evidence. Several weeks later, police were dispatched to a Starbucks where Mullenmaster was a regular customer. The Starbucks experienced an extensive flooding and was forced to close for three hours as a result of nails being flushed down the toilet.
The following day, police found Mullenmaster in the bathroom of a Leeann Chin. According to the store’s manager, police officers “listened by the door and heard metallic sounds hitting porcelain or tiled surface as well as the toilet flushing.” When Mullenmaster emerged from the restroom, police questioned him about the bag he was carrying. The bag reportedly made a metallic “clanking” sound, and officers discovered silver three-inch nails along with a receipt for one pound of nails from Home Depot. The nails are believed to be the same type used in connection with the sewer pipe damage at the Starbucks.
Mullenmaster is currently being held at the Dakota County Jail. A trial date has yet to be announced. Mullenmaster has previous charges of violating a harassment order, disorderly conduct, and two counts of trespass.