Suspect in Burlington vandalism spree ordered to undergo mental health evaluation

Mbyayenge “Robbie” Mafuta
Mbyayenge “Robbie” Mafuta(WCAX)
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 4:06 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2022 at 9:24 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A Burlington man accused of a vandalism spree in the city’s South End faced a judge on Wednesday.

Mbyayenge “Robbie” Mafuta, 21, pleaded not guilty to causing tens of thousands of dollars in property damage to South End homes and the city bus terminal early Tuesday morning. Police say he has a long rap sheet with more than 100 involvements with officers prior to Tuesday.

Superior Court Judge John Pacht ordered Mafuta into the custody of the mental health department for an in-patient evaluation. Should the department decide otherwise, the judge says they would need to find another alternative.

“We don’t have a solid plan for how he can be released safely into the community, both from his point of view and from the public’s point of view. I really need to hear that, and the plan can’t be what it’s been before because that’s not working very well,” Pacht said. “I have all these wonderful conversations with Mr. Mafuta which I think maybe we’re getting someplace -- and we’re not, we’re not figuring it out very well and I don’t know if we can, but we’ve got to keep trying.”

Mafata faces several felony and misdemeanor charges in connection to the vandalism spree.

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