Vandals Cause $50,000 In Damage To Home, Man Who Stops Them Gets Arrested
Imagine you interrupted four young kids who were vandalizing a family member's home, causing between $40,000 - $50,000 in damage and you wound up facing charges.
That's what WHAM-TV says happened to a man in Clyde, NY - located about half way between Rochester and Syracuse.
Jesse Daniels told the station that his father-in-law's home, neighboring his property, was being renovated and one Saturday night he heard noises coming from the home and noticed lights were on inside.
He discovered four young kids - ages 8 and 10 - were inside the home, literally destroying it (Click here for photos from the Wayne Times).
Daniels told local media his version of what happened next, according to WHAM-TV:
“So I grab the one hammer and the other three (boys) got hammers, now I don't know what to do here, I said you guys put that stuff down, what are you doing? Now they're startled because now they're caught,” recalled Daniels of the confrontation. "I was fortunate that they were in that room that had a closet, so I put them in the closet.”
When he called police, officers took the four kids to their parents and charged the juveniles with with felony counts of Burglary and Criminal Mischief. Ultimately, because of their ages, the case was redirected to family court.
But, the story doesn't end there. Two days later, the police returned to issue Daniels four tickets for Endangering the Welfare of a Child - punishable by a maximum of one year in jail for each count.
Reports say the parents insisted Daniels be charged because he was too rough with the kids as he 'corralled' them into the closet, and said he threatened the kids with a hammer.
The case against Daniels is yet to be resolved, and it's not likely the public will hear about what happens to the kids, because it a family court issue.
The best case scenario for Daniels is the charges against him are dropped. But, his father-in-law will still be left having to pay a huge out of packet expense for the damages it seems, as the Wayne Times story indicates just a fraction of the cost can be recouped:
Under New York State law, a juvenile can only be held liable for up to $1500 in damages. Richard Muoio could be awarded only a maximum of $6000 in restitution for all the damage done.