Tuesday August 30, 2011

PITTSFIELD -- A Hinsdale man has allegedly spent much of the past year spray-painting filthy messages about his ex-girlfriend on trees and rocks in a state forest.

In Central Berkshire District Court on Monday, Anthony M. Marcella II, 46, of Kirchner Road, pleaded not guilty to single counts of malicious destruction of property over $250 and vandalizing property. The vandalism spree began last year in the October Mountain State Forest and allegedly included the destruction of a public rest room there, according to court records.

Police said Marcella also hung a woman's dress and underwear from a tree and surrounded that with pages ripped from a book about AIDS.

Beginning last September, Environmental Police Officer Jerry Shampang started finding spray-painted messages, such as "U R dead" and other unsavory descriptions of the ex-girlfriend, on trees and rocks, according to his report. The messages, which seemed to all be related, were found in several areas, the report indicated.

The state forest encompasses parts of Lenox, Lee, Becket and Washington.

In April, Shampang found a public rest room damaged and more graffiti directed at the ex-girlfriend inside.

The vandalism continued until July, according to the report.

The officer's investigation led him to Marcella, the report indicated, through tire tracks, fingerprints and other evidence.


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Shampang allegedly discovered that the graffiti was directed at Marcella's ex-girlfriend.

At one point in July, Shampang came across Marcella who told him he was in the forest "mushroom hunting." When the officer returned to the area a few minutes later, he allegedly discovered more graffiti.

Marcella was released on personal recognizance by Judge Fredric D. Rutberg on Monday and is scheduled to reappear in court Sept. 12.

He told the judge he would be hiring his own lawyer.