Robert Corbit Hodges

Robert Corbit Hodges, 20, of North Woodmere Drive in West Ashley. Cannon Detention Center/Provided

The case wasn't cold, but the evidence was.

A tub of ice cream was the proof police said they needed to tie a suspect to the busted windows at a dozen buildings in downtown Charleston.

After learning of the vandalism spree early Wednesday along the historic Broad Street, the police found 20-year-old Robert Corbit Hodges nearby. He was drunk, bleeding and carrying a container of gelato, they said.

Investigators later determined that the Italian-style ice cream had been taken from Burbages Grocery, one of the targeted businesses.

Hodges, a resident of North Woodmere Drive in West Ashley, faces a felony charge of second-degree burglary and a misdemeanor count of public intoxication.

Charleston Police Department spokesman Charles Francis gave this account of what led to the arrest:

The authorities were alerted about 12:30 a.m. when an alarm went off at 54 Broad St., an art gallery where a glass door had been smashed.

Officers found shattered glass at eight buildings on Broad Street and four more on State Street. The targets included a law office, a real estate firm, a bank, the historic Charleston County courthouse and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

A half-hour later, the police came across Hodges near Colonial Lake. Blood was dripping from one of his arms.

He was soon jailed and later posted bail on the misdemeanor, but he hadn't been charged in the destruction until later Wednesday, when detectives matched his gelato to the store. That extended Hodges' stay behind bars.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 843-937-5414 or

Andrew Knapp is editor of the quick response team, which covers crime, courts and breaking news. He previously worked as a reporter and copy editor at Florida Today, Newsday and Bangor (Maine) Daily News. He enjoys golf, weather and fatherhood.