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Tue., Sep. 1
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Juveniles charged with Trout River oratory vandalism


TROUT RIVER - Troopers arrested three youths who are alleged to be responsible for the vandalism of St. Bridget’s Oratory in Trout River that occurred some time in late-October or early-November.

Facing one felony count each of third-degree burglary are a 15-year-old male and two 14-year-old males, all of Constable. State police Senior Investigator Kurt Taylor said they cannot release their names because they are juveniles and added more arrests may be pending. Their cases will be turned over to Franklin County Family Court and all proceedings will be sealed.

Mr. Taylor said police were able to zero in on the suspects by talking to neighbors.

“We want to show appreciation to the citizens of Trout River for coming forward with pertinent information,” he said.

Four of five statues, some of which are thought to be over 100 years old, were smashed to pieces. Some of them bore names of which they were given in memoriam: “In memory of Mr. and Mrs. Garrett Glennon by Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Glennon.” Another reads “In memory of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Smythe by Mr. and Mrs. William Smythe.” A third statue reads, “In memory of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Brady by The Family.” The surviving statue appeared to be made from metal.

Several small, thin crucifixes were snapped off, the pieces scattered around the altar. The vandals tried to rip a larger crucifix down from the wall above the altar; it hung at a crooked angle, suspended by one arm with a chain. The perpetrators discharged a fire extinguisher and almost every flat surface was coated in a yellowish-white dust. It appeared that the vandals tried to start a fire. On the altar was a notice inside of a plastic protector that was partially burned and melted to the floor. Matches were strewn about two of the pews.

David LaPlante, an attorney who handles juvenile prosecution in family court, could not be reached for comment.

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