Teenagers confess to vandalism spree

EAST LIVERPOOL – City police expect to file charges in Juvenile Court Monday against two teenagers who reportedly confessed to a vandalism spree overnight Thursday.

According to Detective Rob Smith, a Montgomery Street resident called early Friday evening to report finding two pink smiley faces painted on his garage, and Patrolman Greg Smith was sent to investigate.

Before the officer’s arrival, the resident called back to say he believed the person responsible was at the nearby high school baseball field.

There, Patrolman Smith found a boy sitting on the bleachers, smoking a cigarette. Smith noticed the boy had on his back a Nike backpack identical to one seen in a surveillance video of the two suspects taken at the high school when the vandalism occurred Thursday night.

After initially denying any part in the vandalism and giving a false birth date, the 15-year-old boy reportedly confessed to the patrolman, also giving up the name of his alleged 16-year-old accomplice, according to Detective Smith.

He reportedly had in his back pocket a black bandanna resembling those the people on the surveillance video were wearing.

En route to the police station, the boy gave the address of the other suspect, and police stopped to speak with that boy and his mother, saying he also admitted to the vandalism the previous night.

Detective Smith said he plans on conferring with the county prosecutor Monday to determine what charges will be filed, but said he expects vandalism and curfew violations to be among them.

“It will be a monster task to determine the cost of the damage they caused,” Detective Smith admitted.

The vandalism was spread across a wide area of the north side, including homes, businesses, public buildings, cars and street signs. The high school and Trinity Presbyterian Church were both spray-painted, and the detective said one of the boys is a student at the high school but had recently been suspended, which may account for the vandalism to the school building.

The other boy attends an online school.

The father of one of the boys reportedly works as a surveyor, which is where the boys had access to the pink paint, which is often used to mark the ground while surveying, according to Smith.

Smith commended Patrolman Smith for his work on the investigation, saying, “He did a good job getting the truth out of them.”