Tire case dropped against one teen | ParkRecord.com

Tire case dropped against one teen

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

The Park City Police Department says it will not pursue a case against one of the people suspected of slashing tires in Park Meadows during a recent rash of cases.

Rick Ryan, a Police Department captain, says investigators determined the boy did not slash the tires with the three other suspects. Ryan says the three admitted they are responsible, but the investigators found the other person was not.

All four are juveniles, and the Police Department refuses to release detailed information about them. Authorities typically do not identify underage criminal suspects.

Ryan says the person who was cleared in the case is 13 years old, the youngest of the four the police found. The three others are 14 years old.

"He did not participate in the tire slashings," Ryan says.

Police investigators initially gathered information that linked the boy to the case. Ryan refuses to provide details of what led to the police to him.

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"During our (interviews) with him and the other three, we heard he was not a participant," according to the captain.

The police are pursuing cases against the remaining three suspects, and Ryan says the Summit County Attorney’s Office is reviewing the evidence against them. He says the prosecutors plan to file charges in juvenile court.

The Police Department wants the county attorney to pursue charges of criminal mischief and creating a catastrophe against the three. Both counts would be felonies in adult court. Juvenile cases are handled differently, though, and the cases are not classified as felonies in the juvenile-court system.

If the suspects were in the adult-court system, Ryan has said, the charges would probably be second-degree felonies, punishable by between 1 and 15 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.

The department last week continued to receive reports of slashed tires, with the police learning of at least two additional cases. According to police records, one of the reports came in on Feb. 15 at 1:20 p.m. on Lucky John Drive. The other case was also reported on Lucky John Drive, at 2:02 p.m. on Feb. 12. Lucky John Drive is one of the streets hit especially hard in the slashings.

Meanwhile, the police received a request to monitor parked cars on Fairway Village Drive at about 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 12. According to police records, people organizing a cocktail party for the Park City Museum on the street asked for extra patrols for two hours starting at 5 p.m.

The person told the police they wanted officers to protect the parked cars.

Ryan says the most recent reports are linked to the suspects, and the department is not continuing to look for people in the cases.

He says more than 90 tires were hit in the spree. The slashings "disrupted people’s lives, cost a considerable dollar amount when you add it up," Ryan says. The police have said combined damage is estimated at more than $13,000.

The suspects and the one no longer under investigation are from Park Meadows. They are in the eighth grade at Treasure Mountain International School.

People in Park Meadows were targeted, with reports on streets like Lucky John Drive and Fairway Village Drive.

Some of the victims brought the damaged tires to Burt Bros Tire & Service, which replaced about 40 damaged tires after the first wave of victims bought new tires. Tom Pickney, a manager at Burt Bros., has said the vandals likely used a knife with a blade between .5 and .75 inches wide.

Vandalism is common in Park City, with graffiti and minor damage to property frequently reported. But the tire slashings were a surprise to investigators, who have said it is rare that so many tires be damaged in one episode.