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What you need to know for 01/18/2018

Second arrest made in tree-cutting at Gloversville school

Second arrest made in tree-cutting at Gloversville school

A second Gloversville High School senior was arrested Monday for his alleged role in cutting down 17
Second arrest made in tree-cutting at Gloversville school
Tree damage is seen in front of Gloversville High School on Friday, June 13, 2014, after a student was charged with cutting down 17 trees overnight.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson

A second Gloversville High School senior was arrested Monday for his alleged role in cutting down 17 trees at the high school. Now the two students are in danger of not being able to graduate later this month.

Vincent Scott, 18, who was charged Monday, and Kurtis Callen, 18, who was charged last week, will meet with school district officials to determine their graduation status, said school spokeswoman Betsy Demars. A time for the hearing has not been set, Demars said. The graduation is set to take place June 28.

School officials said Friday that many of the trees that were cut down were originally planted in remembrance of deceased classmates or had been donated to the school by previous graduating classes.

The remains of the trees were carted away over the weekend and now only small stumps surround the front of the high school.

Scott, who was arrested after police reviewed video surveillance from the scene, was involved in planning the prank and acted as a “lookout” but did not take part “in the actual cutting down of the trees,” according to the police. He was later released on an appearance ticket, returnable to Gloversville City court at a later date.

On Friday, Callen was arrested at the scene after attempting to hide the chain saw he used to cut down the trees, police said. He was charged with felony criminal mischief and criminal trespassing. He was also charged with third-degree assault for a separate incident. The prankster, who is also the stepson of St. Johnsville police Chief Diana Callen, was arraigned in Gloversville City Court and sent to the Fulton County jail on $5,000 bail.

John Robinson, a senior at the high school, said he does not know Callen and Scott personally, but that they had developed a reputation for being troublemakers.

“No one knew about their plans before it happened,” Robinson said. “But it is a pretty bad idea if you think about it.”

Richard DeMallie, the school’s principal, confirmed that the students have been suspended for five days, but would not comment on any previous trouble they may have caused.

Scott Bruce, a sophomore, said teachers in the school are furious, and added that because the trees have meaning it was “a really bad idea.”

Bruce described a scene in class Monday in which one teacher was wearing a Gloversville High School T-shirt but was so disgusted he wanted to take it off, feeling the school had been shamed by the incident.

“It just was not a good thing to do,” said sophomore Greg Mytelkay. “It gives the school a bad name.”

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