Cranston Police have made two arrests in a school vandalism case — a Johnston man and a Cranston minor.
On Wednesday, Feb. 22, Cranston Police Chief Col. Michael J. Winquist announced the “arrest of two teenagers alleged to have spray-painted signs at the St. Mary Catholic School in Cranston.”
On Feb. 20, Cranston Police received a report that two signs had been vandalized at St. Mary’s Catholic School. According to police, a local teen who created an outdoor classroom posted one of the signs as part of an Eagle Scout project.
“The signs were spray painted with red and black paint with pentagram symbols,” according to police.
Police determined the vandalism occurred between the afternoon of Feb. 17 and the morning of Feb. 20, when it was discovered.
“The case was assigned to a detective from the Criminal Investigations Unit who worked closely with Patrol Officers,” according to a press release from Cranston Police. “Video surveillance was collected from the area, which captured a vehicle with distinctive markings at the time of the crime. An inquiry was then made in the Flock license plate reader camera system, which captured the license plate information for the same vehicle as it passed a camera in the proximity of the time and location of the crime.”
Police used the evidence to track down a Carmine DiSanto IV, 18, of Johnston, “who had been known to operate the vehicle in question,” according to Cranston Police.
DiSanto agreed to an interview with detectives and allegedly admitted that he vandalized the signs on the evening of Feb. 19, after purchasing spray paint from a Home Depot, according to police. Police charged a second suspect, a 17-year-old Cranston girl, who also allegedly admitted to defacing the signs with DiSanto.
On Feb. 21, DiSanto was arraigned by a Justice of the Peace on misdemeanor charges of Vandalism and Conspiracy and released on personal recognizance, according to police. The juvenile was released to a parent, and the case will be reviewed for consideration for a hearing at the City Juvenile Hearing Board or Family Court.
“This case was solved quickly thanks to the diligence of our Patrol and Detective divisions aided by modern technology, including our license plate reader system,” Winquist said. “We recognize a lot of hard work went into the Eagle Scout project, and we are glad that the signs were repaired quickly and the responsible persons will be held accountable.”
Cranston City Councilor Chris Paplauskas confirmed on Twitter that his son Aidan was the scout who originally built the outdoor classroom and erected its sign. They immediately went to work cleaning up the vandalism.
“Aidan took the vandalism much better than Judy or I did,” Chris Paplauskas wrote. “He said, ‘Dad sometimes people do bad things, but we can fix it. It’s important to fix it today to show this isn’t ok.’ His positivity is infectious. With some elbow grease the signs are fixed and the classroom is cleaned.”
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