NEW SCOTLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Albany County Sheriff’s Department arrested three teens they said damaged the John Boyd Thacher State Park.
Police said they received a report that a vehicle caused damage to a picnic area lawn in the Mine Lot of the park. When deputies arrived, they found a Jeep Liberty SUV stuck in the mud.
Tire tracks could be seen woven across the lawn. Some were nearly a half-inch deep. It was an unappealing site to those who visited the park on Thursday.
“People don’t respect the environment,” Israel Eydelson, of Saratoga Springs, said.
The 18-year-old driver was charged with third-degree criminal mischief and trespass. Two 16-year-old passengers were also charged with trespass. All three are from Altamont.
Eydelson said the teens may have thought they were having fun, but in reality, they were doing something wrong.
“Things like this, obviously, where you’re destroying public property, this is vandalism,” he said. “Crosses the line.”
Serandon Spiers, of Middleburgh, agrees.
“You just don’t have anything better to do with your time?” she said. “Why come and ruin something that so many people around the community enjoy?”
She doesn’t believe the culprits had any idea how their actions could affect others.
“I don’t think they understand the effort that the workers here need to put in to keep it looking nice,” she said.
But she and Eydelson hope the teens understand and will take the opportunity to mature.
“I hope the kids come out here and fix it and learn their lesson,” Spiers said.
The driver was arraigned on Thursday. The judge closed the appearance to the media because of the driver’s age and youthful offender status.
The driver was released and will be back in court on Monday.
The other two teens were released on appearance tickets for the end of the month.