(Atlantic) Atlantic Police arrested three juveniles connected with a string of vandalisms that have plagued the city of Atlantic for the past several weeks.
Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green says the juveniles charged with this incident are identified as 14-year-old Patrick Ralston, 13-year-old Isaiah Lagassie, and 13-year-old Austin Boggs, all of Atlantic. The three are charged with Trespassing, 2nd Degree Criminal Mischief, and Criminal Gang Participation.
Chief Green says officers began receiving complaints a few weeks ago of buildings in both the downtown, and residential areas being spray painted. Green says last week some specific lettering was discovered and it related to the teens attempting to identify themselves as a gang.
“The symbolism is one of the ways that tends to come with the formation of gangs, and it is actually covered by the state code,” stated Chief Green. “When those things start to take root we wind up with an issue. We handled it with the full extent of the law, and hopefully sent a message out there that this was not going to be tolerated.”
Green says while the gang situation is being handled seriously, officers would like the public to know that both the age of the offenders and the quick response from law enforcement has prevented a true gang threat from evolving.
Two of the juveniles have been transported to the Juvenile Detention Center and the third has been placed with his parents pending hearings.
January 31, 2012
11:00 a.m. news