Pranksters offered community service

Friday, June 12, 1998

Enquirer Contributor

FAIRFIELD -- Charges against 11 Fairfield High School graduates who removed a fiberglass elephant from Jungle Jim's Market will be dropped if they perform eight days of community service.

Fairfield Municipal Court Judge Keith Spaeth agreed Thursday to a proposal from Fairfield Law Director John Clemmons during a hearing on the May 25 theft. Each of the 11 must complete court-supervised work by Aug. 31.

They also must pay court costs of $22 per charge and split a $100 towing fee incurred when the 700-pound elephant and two larger-than-life snails were returned. The students put them on the high school lawn as a senior prank.

If the fees are paid and community service completed, the charges against the teen-agers will be withdrawn, Judge Spaeth said.

"It was our intent that the defendants recognize their wrongdoing and perform some community service," Mr. Clemmons said. "We feel that's an appropriate punishment for the acts committed." Judge Spaeth allowed the theft and felony theft charges to be amended to criminal mischief, a third-degree misdemeanor. Misdemeanor criminal trespassing charges were not amended.

"This type of conduct is unacceptable," Judge Spaeth told the teens and their parents. "It will not be tolerated. The court has bent its rules and procedures for you. Make no mistake about it, young men, if you don't complete the community service you will stand trial on the charges as amended."

Local Headlines For Friday, June 12, 1998

"Uh, honey, I think there's an alligator in the garden'
Moms change habits, by God
Accused tried to get help for his anger
Agency nurtures special-needs kids
Architect: Broadway too small
Bridgetown boy gets wish
Children's home has makeup fund-raiser
Cincinnati schools' rank dismal
Defense plea to jury: Give Hughbanks life
Drinking fountain evolved into icon
Fernald radiation levels to be regulated
Fisher targets managed care
Fountain falling apart
Ft. Wright chief faces dismissal
High-schoolers lack job skills, study says
Let's all chip in to help restore our bronze lady
Loveland group beautifies city
Peace Corps vets relive memories
Plan to replace Lincoln Court public housing draws opposition
Pranksters offered community service
Probation officer resigns after harassment allegation
Rape case closes with a mistrial
Shooting kills man, leaves girl wounded
Storms cause floods, slides
Suspect in '89 slaying arrested in Columbus
Three-city downtown plan waits
Zoo's rare rhino pregnant