Saturday, May 11, 2002

Mayor brings teen vandals to justice

The Associated Press

        ELYRIA, Ohio — Teen vandals were lost for words when they unexpectedly met an angry man. He turned out to be this city's mayor.

        Mayor Bill Grace was touring the construction site for Elyria's new City Hall Sunday night when he heard what sounded like breaking glass. Seconds later he came upon a scene where two boys, 14 and 16, were in the act of smashing windows by throwing steel bolts.

        “They were a bit shocked, I'd say,” Mr. Grace said of the boys' reactions. “They weren't expecting anyone to be there. I was obviously disturbed. I asked them what they were doing. They didn't have much to say for themselves.

        “So I said, "We can go talk about it at the police station.'”

        Mr. Grace said he wasn't sure if the boys knew he was the mayor. He never told them.

        Mr. Grace said he hasn't met with the parents of the two boys, although a father of one of the boys did stop at City Hall to apologize.

        Both boys could face charges of burglary and vandalism, police said. Damages for the broken windows are estimated at approximately $1,000.

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