Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Five local juveniles arrested for vandalizing community garden.

Via the Dunwoody Patch: Five juveniles have been charged with a felony in connection with vandalizing the community garden in Brook Run Park, according to Dunwoody Police.

Those arrested were all 16 years old, police said. Their names are being withheld by police as is the normal procedure for those accused of crimes who are underage.

Four of those charged are students at Dunwoody High School, police said. A teenager from Roswell charged in the incident used to live in the city.

This vandalized bed in the Community Garden is a food pantry bed. All of the produce in the bed would have gone to charitable purpose. Credit: Tom OderThe garden was vanadalized late on March 30 or early March 31 causing damage, including the destruction of 60 pounds of food that was going to be given to a local food pantry.

An anonymous source stepped forward with information during the last week, Sgt. Mike Carlson said.  The documents formally charging the five juveniles was dropped off at the county's juvenile court on Tuesday. The youths were charged and then released to their parents, according to police.

The five juveniles have been charged with criminal damage to property, a 2nd degree felony, police said.  The community garden was estimated to have been damaged up to $4,000. The threshold from misdememeanor to felonies in such cases is $500, Carlson said.

Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan said in a statement, "A group of teenagers decided to go to Brook Run Park after hours. One thing led to another and now all five of them are charged with ... a felony. I can’t stress enough about how important it is for teenagers to think about the consequences of their actions before they do something like this."

Actions have consequences and as you get older the consequences become more severe. This is a great opportunity for parents to engage their teenager in a conversation about decision making that may help them make better decisions in the future."


Bob Lundsten said...


I believe the punishment for these kids should be full restitution to the Garden for all of the man hours it took to rebuild
They should also not be let off the hook for the cost of the damage even though Home Depot replaced the damaged plants and Costco replaced the destroyed food.
This is indeed a felony and while no one wants this on permanent records, they should understand the fact that if they were a couple of years older, they would not be so lucky.
I walked the damage with Sgt. Espinoza and know the $4k is a pretty accurate figure.
I also know the outrage and disgust I felt when the torn down the Blue Bird houses. That is not a "prank". That is the sign of an angry group.
We should settle for nothing less than full restitution perhaps split between the Garden and the Food Pantry.
The hours worked at the garden should be what it took us to rebuild on Saturday and Sunday times 5
We have hundreds of feet of wood chips to be put down, path ways to be weeded. Picnic areas mulched etc.
This cannot and should not be taken lightly.
maybe I am getting old but when I was a kid, I would not have been afraid of what the cops would have done, I would have been afraid of what my father would have done to me.

GaryRayBetz said...

Same here. Had I done this, I would have begged the cops to keep me in custody because I would have known that when I got out my old man would be kicking my ass from one end of Chicago to the other.

Matt Maxwell said...

Please do some right to counteract these wrongs and vote for the garden's fruit orchard grant at

Lindsay said...

Here are my comments from some other blog site:

I think that would be letting them off too lightly. They should each be sentenced to 10 hours a week of community service starting now until the fall harvest. The hours would be spent performing every task imaginable that would be needed depending on part the season.

Make them responsible for planting, growing, tending the gardens, harvesting and delivering the food to the food pantry. Then they should also be the ones at the food pantry who give the food to the people who depend on the pantry. Face to face, learn who they are.

At the end of the season, after the fall harvest, they should have to prepare a meal for the people who depend on the pantry.

These kids need to learn exactly who they affected every step of the way and how they affected them.

After performing every step of the Food Pantry supply chain it just might just sink in.

GaryRayBetz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GaryRayBetz said...

Just a thought, but if Dunwoody were to legalize marijuana, then perhaps our teenagers would be too lethargic to commit crimes of vandalism, and might even get interested in gardening themselves.