Teens admit they helped vandalize Silver Creek home
November 24, 2009
The kids smashed holes in the walls and a toilet in the home was clogged. Beer was sprayed inside the house and somebody urinated on the carpet.
Six juveniles who live in the Park City area admitted Friday in court that they were involved in the Oct. 3 vandalism at the vacant home on Whileaway Road West in Silver Creek, Summit County Attorney David Brickey said.
Investigators were still figuring out the cost of fixing the damage. In total, 18 juveniles were charged with offenses that included criminal mischief, trespassing, illegal possession/consumption of alcohol and shoplifting. The names of juvenile defendants are usually not published in The Park Record.
The charges stemmed from break-ins that occurred inside the Snyderville Basin home the first weekend in October, according to Brickey.
Boys and girls at the house were detained by officers after the homeowner told a dispatcher that several people were inside the vacant rental property without permission.
Officers found substantial damage inside the house and some of the juveniles were accused of stealing beer for the party from a 7-Eleven in the Snyderville Basin, Brickey said.
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The teens who settled their cases in 3rd District Juvenile Court Friday were ordered to complete community service hours, pay restitution and apologize to Basin residents Jim and Vicky Fitlow, the owners of the vandalized home.
Attorney Joe Wrona said he represented two of the teenagers whose cases were settled Nov. 20.
"Both of my clients have resolved their cases and my clients will be apologizing to the Fitlows. It is my intent to arrange a face-to-face apology," Wrona told The Park Record.
Acts committed by the boys were destructive, he said.
"If you were to look at the simple fact of these juveniles going into a home that they knew they had no right to go into, I view it as a serious transgression," Wrona said. "The Fitlows have every right to expect all citizens to respect their property rights, and just because we’re dealing with teenagers in this case doesn’t make the transgression any less of a violation of the Fitlows’ rights."
Wrona said he did not represent the teen who reportedly had access to the home.
"It’s my understanding that one of the juveniles involved is essentially ground zero," Wrona said. "That particular juvenile knew about the house, knew that it was unoccupied and knew how to get into the house, and that particular juvenile began inviting others into the house."
Some of the juvenile defendants haven’t been as cooperative with investigators as his clients were, Wrona said.
"I am aware of at least one parent who is in complete denial regarding his child’s involvement, and my review of the evidence firmly establishes that particular juvenile’s major role in what unfolded," Wrona said. "I have reviewed the evidence and there are layers and layers of corroborating admissions, so I don’t think there is any dispute about the fact that dozens of juveniles were repeatedly going into the Fitlows’ vacant rental house and that they were partying in the house."
The Fitlows have estimated the damage at more than $10,000.
"You can imagine that dozens of juveniles partying in a vacant house on multiple occasions are at the very least making a mess," Wrona said.
The carpet that was peed on will likely be replaced.
Meanwhile, some of the juveniles charged in the incident made their first court appearances Friday. The hearings are expected to proceed Dec. 11.
Brickey said he expects to resolve all of the case next month.
"Some of the parents have been hesitant to pass judgment on their children until we give them the evidence," Brickey said in a telephone interview. "Their child may be telling them one thing and of course I have evidence that I am not willing to share with them."