Arrest made in vandalism referencing Newtown shooting

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Thu., Apr. 4, 2013
Jason Rivera, age 29, was charged with desecration of property and criminal mischief in the second degree. Photo courtesy of SWPD. - Contributed Photo

Swastikas, references to the school shooting in Newtown and comments disparaging President Obama were found spray-painted on the walls of South Windsor High School on Friday, March 29, prior to a town-sponsored Easter egg hunt scheduled for 10 a.m. The spray-paint was removed before the egg hunt.

South Windsor police investigated the matter, identified a witness and interviewed him the afternoon of April 1. Police said that Jason Rivera, age 29, of 493 Griffin Road, in South Windsor, admitted to spray-painting the messages that previous Thursday. He “stated that he had no intention of harming anyone,” according to South Windsor police.

Following the review of the arrest warrant application by the Manchester Superior Court, SWPD arrested Rivera on charges of desecration of property and criminal mischief in the second degree on Tuesday, April 2. He was held on a $100,000 court set bond and was presented at Manchester Superior Court on Wednesday, April 3.

Connecticut General Statutes Section 46a-58, which deals with deprivation of rights and desecration of property, states that “any person who intentionally desecrates any public property, monument or structure, or any religious object, symbol or house of religious worship, or any cemetery, or any private structure not owned by such person,” is in violation of the law, and is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. If the cost of the damage exceeds $1,000, however, the violation is a class D felony.

The incident prompted an immediate response from Charles Margolis, chair of the South Windsor Human Relations Commission.

“The South Windsor Human Relations Commission condemns this blatant act of hate,” said Margolis in a press release issued Saturday, March 30. “There is no place for this kind of behavior in our town. The acts of a few misguided individuals do not represent the attitudes or actions of the majority of our community members. Nonetheless, it does reflect poorly on our town.”

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