March 22, 2001 | 75319 views
Cops: Teens paint the town red
Police say 3 damaged property, using paintball, BB guns
Three 17-year-old boys were arrested last week after police said they went on an hour-long spree of shooting paintball and BB guns at cars and buildings, causing thousands of dollars in damage.
Police identified those arrested as Elan Luger of Atlantic Beach, Lee Bienstock of Lawrence and Yale Lipschik of Woodmere and charged them with criminal mischief and criminal tampering, which are felonies, officials said.
The spree took place between 10 and 11 p.m. Thursday, March 15, in Woodmere, Cedarhurst, Lawrence and North Lawrence. When it was over, damage was done to at least five cars, the elementary-school building of the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, at 33 Washington Ave., Lawrence, and a footwear and accessories store on Rockaway Turnpike in North Lawrence, said Det. Sgt. John Azzata of the Fourth Squad. In addition, paintballs were fired at traffic-light control boxes, heavily damaging them, police said.
A paintball gun is an air gun that shoots gelatin capsules that splash paint when a target is hit, police said. Red and orange were two visible colors sprayed during the vandalism.
Police said the Five Towns have been plagued by such incidents for about two months and are investigating whether the three boys can be linked to any of the 10 to 15 other incidents that have taken place in the area, Azzata said.
"It looks like it was nothing personal, but they were doing it just for the fun of it," said Police Officer Domenick Stanganelli of the Fourth Precinct. "I guess it's their form of entertainment."
During the hour-long spree on March 15, police said a 1994 Chevy Suburban and a 1999 Chevy each had its rear window broken by a BB-gun pellet, resulting in $150 in damages to each car. Much of the criminal mischief took place on Cedarhurst Avenue, west of Broadway, in Cedarhurst, and on Broadway and Washington Avenue in Lawrence, authorities said.