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Anti-Semitic Graffiti Case Sent to Grand Jury

LEWISBORO, N. Y. – Four area teens accused of spray painting anti-Semitic graffiti on an Elmwood Road residence had their felony charges moved to county court.

Michael Trapasso and Christopher Grispen, both 17 and from South Salem, Daniel Mitchell, 17, from Cross River, and Michael Skalaski, 18, from Goldens Bridge, were charged with first-degree aggravated harassment, a felony. The teens allegedly vandalized the Schecter residence by spraying swastikas and other anti-semitic slurs on the house in June. Originally given a hate crime status, that stipulation has since been removed from the felony charge.

The four also face charges of making graffiti, a Class A misdemeanor, and criminal trespass in the third degree, a Class B misdemeanor. Those charges, which will remain in Lewisboro Court, stem from graffiti that was painted on postal trucks and road signs.

The felony charges that will be heard in White Plains will take precedence over the misdemeanor complaints.

One defendant, Skalaski, faces an additional misdemeanor charge for contempt of court. Skalaski is accused of breaking a court-imposed 9 p.m. curfew after he was caught speeding and issued a ticket at 11:30 p.m. last month.

The district attorney’s office asked that Skalaski no longer be released on his own recognizance. When he was arraigned on the contempt charge on Aug. 3, bail was set and posted at $600. However, Monday night ADA Diana Ameri asked that Skalaski’s bail be raised to $20,000 cash, contending that he was a flight risk. Town Justice Susan Simon denied the request and maintained the original $600 bail.

Simon warned all the defendants that the stipulations of their release be taken seriously.

“Bail is something that can always be revisited during these hearings,” she said. “I want to remind everyone of that.”

Trapasso was given an extension of the 9 p.m. curfew. On the nights he works late, his curfew is 11:30 p.m.

The defendants are due back in town court on Nov. 28 regarding their misdemeanor charges.

If found guilty, what sort of punishment do you think is proper for the four teen defendants? Let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/TheDailyLewisboro

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