5 vandals strike Orono Bog Boardwalk, police track down suspects

Posted Oct. 24, 2012, at 6:44 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — Five juveniles suspected of causing $140 worth of vandalism to benches and railings along 16 of the 509 total sections of the Orono Bog Boardwalk have been identified and interviewed by Orono police officers.

“We called all five after identifying them from photos and witness descriptions. We called them last night and Officer Christopher Watson interviewed them today,” Orono Police Capt. Josh Ewing said Wednesday.

“I think they’re all age 17 or under and we’re determining if any have prior offenses. We should be able to determine their fate [Thursday].”

Ewing said if they are all first-time offenders, their punishment could be serving a certain number of volunteer hours repairing their own damage and performing other improvements or tasks.

“If they’re charged as juveniles, they’ll likely go to a juvenile corrections officer and could be given volunteer time. It depends if they have priors,” said Ewing.

Shortly after 4 p.m. Monday, five juveniles were seen entering the boardwalk by an Orono Bog volunteer. They exited about 45 minutes later.

Their behavior seemed suspicious, so the volunteer took a photo of them, noted the time frame and wrote down descriptions as well as other pertinent information. The volunteer then walked along the boardwalk to see if anyone was still on it around 5 p.m. and noted several examples of destruction.

“Three benches were vandalized with one completely destroyed and 11 railings were damaged,” said Jim Bird, Orono Bog Boardwalk director. “All the railings are reconnected, but four or five will have to be replaced.

Handrails and balusters [railing supports] were also damaged on one section, and those will have to be replaced.”

The boardwalk encompasses about 4,200 feet, or a little less than a mile, according to Bird, and is made up of 509 total sections, each of which is eight feet in length.

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