HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. – Three teenagers were arrested and charged after allegedly spray painting the well-known Castle playground.
The Hoosick Falls Police Department investigated a report of a Criminal Mischief that occurred at the Town Park on the morning of October 22.
According to police, three teens spray painted the walls of the castle, which is an enclosure that encompasses the playground.
The Castle, as it is called by the community, is well known to the residents of both the Town and Village and has been a gathering spot for years for families to enjoy. Residents said parts of the Castle are memorials to residents who have died.
When residents heard of the damage, a reward was established for information leading to the arrest and convictions of the individuals responsible.
On Thursday, officers arrested two 17-year-old males and an 18-year-old male. All three are from the village. They were arrested and charged with one count of Criminal Mischief. All were arraigned and remanded to Rensselaer County Jail.
As part of a plea deal, the trio began painting over the damage they caused on Thursday.
“Watching them paint it, it feels good to actually see them do it,” Hoosick Falls Police Officer Stephen Coonradt said.
For many residents like Peggy Bakaitis, seeing the Castle playground covered in graffiti was disheartening.
“A lot of people in the community volunteered their time to build that castle,” she said.
The teens were supervised by a community service representative who plans to make sure they complete the job. Rensselaer County Assistant District Attorney Carmelo Laquidara believes the lesson will have an impact.
“It teaches these kids a hard day’s work, and it also tempers justice with some sort of compassion,” he said.
Coonradt said the punishment sends a clear message.
“Well, hopefully, these guys learn a lesson and anyone else that thinks they can get away with it will know better,” he said.
The teens will also have to reimburse the village around $1,200 for the paint and other resources needed to complete the project.
“I really hope for these three kids and that it opens up their eyes and makes them realize what a nice community they live in, and it’s people like them that have got to carry on after people like me have gone the other way,” Bakaitis said.
The three will return to the park Friday to continue working on the Castle. It make take three to four days to complete.
All three will be on probation for three years.