Community Service, Restitution Ordered For Berlin Vandals

Community Service, Restitution Ordered For Berlin Vandals

SNOW HILL — Two local teens facing malicious destruction of property charges after a graffiti spree in downtown Berlin were placed on probation and fined last week, but their biggest punishments will be restitution to the 30-plus victims and hundreds of hours of community service that must be completed within the town of Berlin.

Jordan Denton, 18, of Berlin, and Nicholas Bonser, 18, of Ocean Pines, were each charged with 40 counts including malicious destruction of property and malicious destruction of property scheme, following the spray paint spree in January throughout downtown Berlin. Last week in District Court, each defendant pleaded guilty to 10 counts of malicious destruction and one count each malicious destruction scheme and each was fined $200 and placed on probation for two years. A third suspect, a juvenile, was also charged and was sentenced similarly.

The Berlin Police Department received the first phone call about the widespread vandalism in the Broad Street area downtown around 10 p.m. on Jan. 25 and received additional calls on the following morning. Over 30 vehicles were spray-painted with graffiti including some with racial slurs. Some examples include a white vehicle with red paint slashes down its entire side. The side of one building simply said “cheeseburger.” Another vehicle had “LOL” painted on its driver’s side window. Yet another building was adorned with the message “your mother is a nice lady.”

The vandalism spree resulted in an estimated $11,000 in damage reported by 36 separate victims, including the town of Berlin, which had a car, 10 electric meters and four trash cans vandalized. Three buildings and 33 other vehicles in the downtown area were also spray painted during the incident.

In District Court last Friday, Denton and Bonser were each placed on probation for two years and fined $200. In addition, the two named suspects along with the juvenile were ordered to pay roughly $9,000 in restitution to the 30-plus victims of the vandalism spree.

The three defendants were also each ordered to perform 150 hours of community service, or a total of 450 hours of community service, which must be completed in the town of Berlin where the graffiti spree occurred.