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Police: Teen cut down trees at Gloversville school

Callen facing felony charge

June 13, 2014
Updated 11:56 p.m.
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Tree damage is seen in front of Gloversville High School on Friday, June 13, 2014, after a student was charged with cutting down 17 trees overnight.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson
Tree damage is seen in front of Gloversville High School on Friday, June 13, 2014, after a student was charged with cutting down 17 trees overnight.

— It was supposed to be a normal day, the final full school day before exams.

Instead, faculty and students at Gloversville High School arrived Friday morning to find 17 trees surrounding the building had been cut down.

Gloversville police said Kurtis J. Callen, 18, of 132 Norboro Road, Gloversville, was responsible for cutting down the trees. Callen, the stepson of St. Johnsville Police Chief Diana Callen, was arrested after investigators reviewed surveillance video of the incident and an indvidual who Callen had asked to help him came forward, police said.

The trees were planted as gifts from graduating classes, such as the class of 2003, or as a remembrance of deceased classmates, such as the class of 1967. But all that was left were awkward stumps.

As rain poured down harder and harder, Principal Richard Demallie explained that Callen thought it would be a senior prank, but witnesses came forward to identify him as the person responsible. Police and school officials did not describe how Callen allegedly cut down the trees, which Demallie called an act of vandalism.

The crime was committed about 2:50 a.m. and Callen was arrested about eight hours later. He was charged with felony criminal mischief and criminal trespass.

He was also charged with third-degree assault from a previous incident in which he allegedly struck a female.

Callen was arraigned in Gloversville City Court and sent to the Fulton County jail on $5,000 bail.

 
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comments

June 14, 2014
2:19 p.m.
CarolynMB says...

The officials should make him earn (not given to him) the money to buy all new trees. He could earn the money by being given physical work with the usual summer activites that are done to get the school ready for the fall reopening. Then he should have to plant all the new trees and care for them throughout the summer to make sure they live. And, the parents should not be alliwed to bail him out or do the work for him.

June 16, 2014
3:38 a.m.
kopacham says...

30 days in jail for mischief should send a message and then complete restitution and wage garnishment until restitution is completed.

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