Walmart TV basher was on depression medication
By Ty Tagami
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The man who attacked a row of flat-screen televisions at a Walmart in Lilburn on Wednesday told police that he was on medication for depression.
Gwinnett County Jail Westley Strellis, 23, of Lawrenceville, is accused of smashing more than 24 TVs at the Walmart on Lawrenceville Highway in Lilburn. The TVs are reported to be valued at more than $22,000, police said
Westley Strellis of Lilburn was arrested without a fight after he picked up an aluminum baseball bat from the sporting goods aisle, then methodically bashed 29 TVs.
A store security camera captured a man walking casually down the TV aisle of the store on Lawrenceville Highway as he took one swing after another. A half-dozen fidgety onlookers stood at the end of the aisle, some of them backing away as he approached.
Finally, he flipped the bat away and sat on the floor.
When a Lilburn police officer approached later, Strellis was still sitting there, and he extended his arms and gestured for the officer to put handcuffs on him, according to a police report of the incident obtained by the AJC.
The arresting officer, Alex Hunt, found a bottle of prescription medicine in Strellis' pocket. Strellis told Hunt the medication, Effexor XR, was a treatment for depression.
Patients who use the drug should "be watched for becoming agitated, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, or restless," according to the Web site of the drug maker.
Strellis, 24 (police said Wednesday that he was 23, but the police report says he is 24), was taken to the Gwinnett County jail and charged with 29 counts of criminal damage to property in the second degree. The police report said the damage totaled $22,887.