State police say the man who vandalized the Gloversville Middle School nature trail last month was arrested Tuesday on misdemeanor charges.
Bruce Ingraham, 44, of Ridge Road, Perth, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief, petty larceny and trespassing. He is scheduled to appear in Gloversville City Court on May 14. Trooper Chad Handy investigated and made the arrest.
Ingraham, a metal salvager, allegedly broke up vintage farm equipment located at teaching stations on the trail. Jessie George, the middle school science teacher coordinating the trail project, said she confronted Ingraham on the trail in April as he was loading scrap metal.
Trail construction was progressing with the assistance of numerous school clubs and individuals, as well as $6,000 in corporate grant money and other donations.
George was confident Tuesday the school community will rally to repair and rebuild the trail. “We’ll put it back together … it’s just discouraging,” she said. “I just hate to go backward,” she added.
George was reserved about the arrest. “I just wish he would help us instead of hurting us,” she said of Ingraham.
Ingraham could not be reached for comment.
When the school district purchased the 110-acre parcel in 2003, the equipment came with the old farm property. George and other project organizers incorporated various pieces of vintage equipment into the trail teaching stations and collected other scrap metal to sell to raise funds.
A pile of the collected scrap was taken, George said.
Since the vandalism was publicized, George said, Amsterdam area resident Eleanor Peters has offered to donate some of the antique equipment on her family farm, including two cultivators and a horse-drawn potato planter. George said she will need some help and a truck to retrieve the potato planter, which she said is quite large.
She said a flatbed truck would also be useful for other tasks that must be completed. A local entity will donate some sand and gravel, but the materials have to be trucked to the trail, she said.
Students have collected a new pile of scrap metal, George said, and the silo in the barn on the property has been cleaned out. It contained 18 tires and parts of three old cars, she said.
A concrete block wall inside the barn has been repaired in preparation for art students in Linda Smyth’s class to paint a mural. Students are also preparing to plant 50 donated blue spruce trees, George said.
Categories: Schenectady County