Hearing set for boy who admitted to damaging Williamsport pool

January 10, 2002

Hearing set for boy who admitted to damaging Williamsport pool


The father of a 13-year-old boy who admitted participating in a $22,000-plus vandalism spree at the Williamsport municipal pool in November learned Wednesday in Washington County Juvenile Court he could be responsible for nearly half of the damage.

In Maryland, the parents of juveniles can be ordered to pay up to $10,000 for damages caused by their children. A hearing will be scheduled later this month to determine the level of liability.

The boy, who was detained in a juvenile facility for six days in December, was placed on indefinite supervised probation Wednesday, returned home and ordered to write a lengthy letter of apology to the Town of Williamsport.

The boy also was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

"I'm going to keep you busy all summer," said Judge Donald Beachley, who acknowledged the futility of ordering a 13-year-old to repay such a large sum.


The damage was discovered by two Williamsport municipal workers at 9:44 a.m. on Nov. 7, Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Michelle Flores said.

Someone had spray-painted the inside of the pool, benches, walls and several lights with red and black paint. Flores said foul words and symbols were present ... along with the name of the 13-year-old boy clearly painted in black in the pool.

When approached at his school, the boy tried to run but was stopped, Flores said. He had a bag containing red and black paint cans, eggs and several rolls of toilet paper.

"He denied doing the damage," Flores said. But the boy had paint on his pants that matched the paint found in the park.

The foul words and symbols were traced back to the boy but he continued to deny his involvement, Flores said.

Initially it was hoped the damage could be repaired without much expense but Flores said new information indicates the pool will have to be resurfaced at a cost of $20,000.

The boy, who said he was one of five youngsters involved, told Beachley Wednesday he has learned his lesson and will stay out of trouble.

"I understand you think it's not fair that others are getting away with this," Beachley said. "Maybe that's true but it doesn't make you less culpable."

The boy acknowledged his frustration and said one of the boys has threatened him.

A Department of Juvenile Justice spokesman told Beachley that one other boy has been identified and will have an intake hearing soon. No evidence was found to implicate the others.

"It's hoped insurance will cover this," Flores said.

So far, the Town of Williamsport hasn't responded to requests for insurance information.

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