Scotia-Glenville classroom trashed; 4 charged

Police arrested a Scotia-Glenville High School student and three recent graduates after they alleged

Police arrested a Scotia-Glenville High School student and three recent graduates after they allegedly went on a drunken rampage in a high school classroom, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage early this week.

Investigators believe they got into the building by climbing onto the roof. District officials have placed the cost of damages at $6,843.

“Beyond being disappointed in these young adults, the school district has a responsibility to seek reimbursement for the equipment and other damage done by these men,” said Superintendent Susan Swartz in a statement released Friday. “We will pursue our options as far as possible.”

Gregory J. Ackerley, 19, of Spearhead Drive; Zachary R. Ferraro, 18, of Barry Lane; and Jeffrey R. Moehle, 18, of Glen Avenue in Scotia, were all charged with felony counts of third-degree burglary and second-degree criminal mischief, plus one count of criminal trespass. Scotia-Glenville junior Alex Bekkering, 17, of Cherokee Road, was also charged with one count of criminal trespass.

Ferraro, Moehle and Bekkering were all released on appearance tickets. Ackerley was released to the custody of the Schenectady County Probation Department, according to police.

Security cameras on the building captured the four arriving at the school with several other former Scotia-Glenville students, according to police. The four suspects climbed onto the roof around 2:15 a.m. Sunday and got into a second-floor GED classroom through a window.

Once inside, Ackerley, Ferraro and Moehle spent an hour flipping over desks, smashing computers and damaging audio-visual equipment, according to school district officials. The trio also allegedly wrecked a framed picture and damaged a refrigerator.

Police believe Bekkering remained on the roof during the vandalism. A fifth male was questioned by police for driving one of the vehicles that brought the others to the high school, but he was not charged.

District spokesman Bob Hanlon said the damage was noticed by school custodians early Monday morning. He said the three alleged burglars would have triggered the school’s alarm system had they moved into the hallways. But because they remained in one classroom, they never set off the alarm.

Hanlon said the janitors also pay periodic visits to the school during weekends, but likely wouldn’t have noticed the damage.

None of those arrested had anything to do with the GED program. Hanlon said the targeted classroom was likely chosen at random and because the alleged burglars could jar the window open, gauging by the number of finger smudges found on other windows around the building.

“This truly was happenstance,” he said.

The three graduates are all suspected of drinking on the morning of the vandalism. Hanlon said the other two teens identified in the case claimed to be sober.

In accordance with district policy, Bekkering was suspended for five days to begin following the district’s recess next week. He is scheduled to appear at a hearing with the superintendent to determine whether a greater punishment is warranted.

The four were tracked down in short order because one of the vehicles captured on security video was found at the high school Monday morning. Hanlon said the school’s assistant principal checked the parking lot for the vehicle on a hunch and was able to identify it as the one in the video.

“They actually drove around the high school several times,” he said of the car that appeared in the video footage.

Categories: Schenectady County

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