Teen sent to Noyes in graffiti case

April 23, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell on Wednesday kept a promise he made to a 17-year-old graffiti "artist" in juvenile court a month ago.

"If you miss one day of school, I'll take you out of your home," he told the Maugansville teenager who pleaded guilty to two counts of malicious destruction of property.

A school attendance report from a Washington County Board of Education pupil personnel worker revealed the teen skipped several classes on the days he was in school since the March hearing.

There also was a new suspension for problems at school, the worker told the judge.

The school promise came about when McDowell learned the teenager had missed 33 days of school this year. Comments from his teachers revealed he shows up for classes at North Hagerstown High School only one or two days a week and is failing all subjects.


"I made you a promise. I think you just wanted to test this court's patience," McDowell said Wednesday as he ordered the teen to the Noyes Detention Center in Rockville, Md.

The two counts of graffiti to which he admitted were to a trash bin at Freddie's Express on Northern Avenue in December and a North End apartment building wall on Oct. 31.

Hagerstown City Police spotted the youth in a vehicle in the parking lot of a Northern Avenue fast-food restaurant at 2:20 a.m. on Dec. 5, police said.

Because there had been a rash of graffiti and the hour, police watched the vehicle and its lone occupant.

They saw someone get out of the car, run across Northern Avenue and return a short time later, police said.

When the car pulled out, police followed it to The Terrace, where the driver pulled into a driveway in the 1000 block and turned off the lights, police said.

The police cruiser pulled in behind and the teen was taken into custody. Two cans of black paint were found in the car and the youth had black paint on his hand, authorities said.

Damage estimates have come in from the Maugansville Little League, $100; Ebersole and Sons, Maugansville Road, $100; Wareham Air Brakes, $200; Maugansville Elevator, $200; and for Washington County Roads Department signs, $1,174.

Several victims had not yet reported damage figures, according to Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Susan Lochbaum.

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