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Teens apologize for school graffiti

December 08, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

SHARPSBURG - Five Sharpsburg boys, ages 14 to 16, stood in front of the Sharpsburg Mayor and Town Council individually Monday night and apologized to the town for graffiti.

Each boy said it would not happen again.

"I want to thank all of these young men for removing and correcting the damage they did and for their courage for coming here," Mayor George Kesler said.

"We hope you will help keep the beautiful Town of Sharpsburg beautiful from now on," Kesler said.

The boys spent the weekend cleaning up their graffiti, scrubbing it off signs and using blacktop sealer to cover damage to the elementary school's parking lot, said Deputy Bill Blair with the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Much of the graffiti was on Sharpsburg Elementary School property where the boys had "tagged" the area with their graffiti in an attempt to stake their territory, Blair said.

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Sharpsburg is not alone in having problems with graffiti, Blair said. Hagerstown has been battling graffiti much of the year.

"This is something that can be prosecuted," Blair said. If the boys get in trouble again, charges will be filed, he said.

Juveniles who are found guilty of graffiti can face a range of penalties, from cleaning it up to being confined in a juvenile detention center until they are 21 years old, Blair said.

The father of one of the boys apologized for his son's actions and thanked Blair for the way he handled the situation.

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