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School Officials Seek Help Identifying Chatterton Vandals

The two men caught on camera doing damage at Chatterton School in Merrick. (Credit: Merrick UFSD)
The two men caught on camera doing damage at Chatterton School in Merrick. (Credit: Merrick UFSD)
The Merrick School District is seeking the community’s help in identifying two men that have causing damage on the grounds of Chatterton School.

On three separate instances, two males have arrived on the premises of Chatterton at approximately midnight. After they spend some time roughhousing (as seen in the video) they proceeded to physically damage the property.

The first instance occurred on the Fourth of July weekend. They returned about a month later, and their most recent encounter took place the last weekend of September.

“There is somebody that does malicious damage to the building,” James O’Beirne, the Director of Facilities, told Patch. “One time, he tore all the picnic tables that are open to the general public out of the ground. They were all anchored with some concrete, and he just turned them all over.”

One of the men, who described to be in his early 20s, caucasian and approximately six feet tall with a ponytail and hair in his chin area, also was seen on tape snapping a pear tree right off of its base. The other male involved is much shorter and caucasian as well.

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The Merrick School District has been in constant contact with the police about the issue, and they’ve asked the sector car that patrols the area to give a little more attention to Chatterton.

“ We just haven’t been able to catch the person, and he’s done damage to the community,” O’Beirne said.

“We also asked our own custodial staff, because most of them live in the area, if they’ve seen him in any neighborhood bars or restaurants,” Christine Grucci, the Assistant Superintendent of Business and Technology, added. “We figure, by his description, he might stand out. So far, no one knows who he is.”

Grucci added that these men were spotted on camera walking on foot towards Chatterton, and the estimated value of damage caused by the men is between $3,000 and $4,000.

“What we don’t want to do is put up an eight-foot fence around that area for aesthetic reasons,” she said. “The community uses that area in the evenings and on the weekends.”

“We don’t want to have to make it look like a prison,” O’Beirne said. “That shouldn’t be the case.”

Anyone with information about the two men is urged to call Dr. Christine Grucci at 516-992-7260 or James O’Beirne at 516-993-7255.

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KFC October 23, 2012 at 11:30 AM
I've seen a guy matching the pony tailed guy around the Stop and Shop and in CVS numerous times. Perhaps works at Stop and Shop? Same facial hair, same pony tail.... Not saying it is same guy but there is a resemblance.
Merrick825 October 28, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Saw the guy with the pony tail walking on Smith Street, walking towards Merrick Ave. He had a yellow Stop & Shop over his shoulder. He must work there.
Michael Ganci (Editor) October 28, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Thanks for sharing! Will pass the word along. MG

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