Lakewood teens tied to swastika graffiti charged with bias intimidation
Two young Lakewood teens, who police say were among six using a sledgehammer to smash windows on a vacant building Monday, face bias intimidation charges tied to spray-painted swastikas and other graffiti found August 25 in a township playground.
Officers responding to a trespassing report Monday found the group destroying windows on the onetime YWCA on Second Street, the same street on which the park is situated.
Police did not elaborate on the time of day, building ownership, the monetary extent of damages, or how six teenagers came into possession of a sledgehammer. They were rounded up, brought to headquarters, and charged for the incident.
The playground's proximity led investigators to revisit the August 25 graffiti incident. Detectives Michael Cavallo and Oscar Valmon connected it to the boys, aged 13 and 14.
They are charged with criminal mischief as well as with bias intimidation.
Matters involving young people who are still below consenting age are heard in family court. There has been no indication by police of any intent to elevate it to adult status.
Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.