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5 Darien Teens Charged in New Canaan Vandalism

All five Darien High School football players accused of vandalizing New Canaan High School before Thanksgiving were arrested Thursday after warrants were issued. All were charged as youthful offenders and police did not release their names.

New Canaan police charged the Darien boys — four 17-year-olds and a 15-year-old — with first-degree criminal mischief, first-degree conspiracy to commit criminal mischief and loitering on school grounds. One 17-year-old was also charged with violating passenger restrictions and violating curfew restrictions.

Sgt. Carol Ogrinc said the 15-year-old, accompanied by his attorney, turned himself in at 3 p.m. after an arrest warrant was obtained from Stamford Juvenile Court. The four older boys surrendered to New Canaan police between 3:40 and 7:30 p.m. after warrants were returned from Norwalk Superior Court.

The 17-year-olds were released on promises to appear in Norwalk Superior Court. Two will go to court Wednesday, while two others are scheduled for Dec. 22. The 15-year-old is scheduled to return Dec. 21 to Stamford Juvenile Court.

Police said the five boys, all members of the Darien football team, went to the New Canaan High campus in the early morning Nov. 24 and spray painted several areas with oil-based blue paint. Areas targeted included the main entrance, the walkway to the athletics complex and the Hawes Plaza outside of James Dunning Jr. Field. The incident came a day before Thanksgiving and the annual Turkey Bowl football game between the rival schools. Darien Public School officials did not allow the five students to attend or play in the game, which New Canaan won , 42-14.

New Canaan Superintendent of Schools David Abbey said the vandalism resulted in about $4,500 in damages. Under state law, police can charge for first-degree criminal mischief if damages exceed $1,500.

New Canaan school board President Nick Williams said the vandalism case has been "unfortunate and distressful." Williams said he's hoping the schools and towns can put the incident in the past, and "hopefully there will be a resolution that's appropriate for the severity of the crime."

What punishment should be handed out for the vandalism at New Canaan High School? Leave a comment below.

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