Saturday September 29, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Seven South County men, ranging from 17 to 20 years old, were arraigned Thursday in connection to a vandalism spree last month.

Joseph M. Smith, 17; Jesus M. Ramirez, 19; Taylor Fiske, 19; Parker Sanneh, 20; Jony Iglesias, 18; Jesse Boateng, 17; and Austin Phillips, 18, all were charged with two counts each of vandalizing real or personal property, malicious destruction of property over $250, and defacement to real or personal property, according to a news release.

The seven were summons to court but not arrested, the news release said.

Of those arraigned, all are Pittsfield residents except for Fiske and Phillips, who are from Hinsdale and Washington, Mass., respectively.

On Aug. 19, Officers Christopher Peebles and Chad Shimmon reported finding slashed tires, overturned trash cans and street signs, graffiti and broken clay planters along Main Street in Great Barrington.

Shortly after that, the officers responded to a citizen report of vandalism at the Lake Mansfield beach, where they found damage to the area’s picnic tables, fence rails, water fountains and trash cans.

They arrived on scene in time to stop the seven suspects leaving the scene in a single vehicle. An investigation determined they were the ones responsible, according to police.

Town officials are still assessing the cost of the damages.