Graffiti-spreading teens nabbed in Kerhonkson, thanks to Facebook

Photo of graffiti on the new Kerhonkson bridge across the Rondout, from Terry Bernardo's Facebook page.

You can hardly blame Ulster County legislator Terry Bernardo for being mad about graffiti on the bridge across the Rondout Creek in Kerhonkson. After all, Kerhonkson has been waiting for the bridge to get rebuilt for almost three years -- and the concrete was barely dry before taggers started marking it up.

Bernardo was so aggrieved by the graffiti sprouting up on the new bridge that she started posting pictures of it on Facebook. Other locals began commenting, spreading the word and posting information about likely offenders.

According to a press release from the Ulster County Sheriff's Department, the Facebook comments led directly to the arrest of two local teenagers, a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old. The release:

Deputies from the Ulster County Sheriff's Office report the arrest of two male juveniles ages 13 and 15 of Kerhonkson for two counts of criminal mischief 4th each, an A Misdemeanor.

The arrests stem from an investigation started on June 22nd after graffiti began appearing on a newly built bridge spanning the Rondout Creek in Kerhonkson. A break in the investigation came after community groups and individuals in the community, concerned about the graffiti problem, became involved. On July 24th a community member posted pictures of the graffiti on their Facebook account stating that the bridge graffiti is unacceptable. Shortly after the posting other Facebook users began posting information relating to possible suspects. This information was reported to the Sheriff's Office and deputies, armed with this new information arrested the first juvenile on July 25th and the second one on July 26th.

The Sheriff's Office would like to thank the following community members and groups for getting involved to help solve this community problem: Friends of Historic Kerhonkson (Chris DePew - President), the Kerhonkson Fire Department, the persons responding to the pictures of the graffiti on Facebook and County Legislator Terry Bernardo, who is the community member who posted the pictures of the graffiti and reported the new information to the Sheriff's Office.

Both juveniles were issued appearance tickets to Family Court, returnable August 10, 2011 at 10:00am, and released to their respective parents.