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Pair sentenced in 'Yogi' vandalism

July 11, 2002|by KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

Two Boonsboro brothers charged with wrenching the arm off a Yogi Bear statue at a Washington County campground during a vandalism spree received supervised probation at a disposition hearing Wednesday.

Washington County Circuit Judge Donald Beachley said the juveniles should receive similar punishments for their part in damaging the 10-foot-tall statue on Dec. 16, 2001, at Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park campground near Williamsport.

The brothers, both 17, each pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property, police said.

Beachley sentenced each to indefinite supervised probation, payment of restitution and 40 hours of community service. Beachley also ordered them to complete a victim awareness program, abstain for drugs and alcohol and maintain a curfew and good behavior.

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Vandals tied a rope around the Yogi Bear statue's fiberglass arm and used a pickup truck to try to pull the statue from its post outside the campground's entrance, police said.

The right arm, in a waving position, broke off and the vandals drove away with the arm in the pickup, police said.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Michelle Flores said following the disposition hearing that the sentence was appropriate because the juveniles had no prior records.

Attorneys Edward Button and Wiley Rutledge represented the brothers.

Button told Beachley that his client, a recent Boonsboro High School graduate, was employed at a local pizza restaurant and has made paying his share of the restitution a priority.

The youth intends to sell his vehicle for $1,000 to pay some of the $2,653 in restitution he still owes, Button said.

The juvenile has been obeying his curfew and sent letters of apology, Button said.

His client knows "his actions were inexcusable," but he followed the crowd, Button said.

The other juvenile must pay $1,129 in restitution, Beachley said.

Rutledge said his client also sent out letters of apology.

"I blame myself," the teenager said when given the opportunity to address Beachley. He apologized for his behavior.

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