Two teens were recently arrested by Santa Clarita Sheriff Station deputies just before 8 am on Friday, August 28th. SCV deputies made the arrests after a Tik Tok video surfaced showing two teens at the park after hours. During the video, the teens were seen sneaking into the park through bypassing a chain-link fence, entering the sky tower, standing on sky tower ledges, spraying fire extinguishers, and other behaviors.
Reports made by park officials also mentioned a significant amount of paint had been used to vandalize the park. While the Tik Tok video failed to show the suspects using paint to deface the park, authorities noted that the park has 24-hour surveillance videos placed throughout the area that may have caught the teens in action. According to park officials, the cost to repair the damage done will be upwards of $3,000.
The suspects, R. Birchfield, 19, and D. Godoy, also 19, were arrested and charged with felony vandalism.
California Penal Code 594 PC describes vandalism as maliciously damaging, destroying, or defacing another person’s property. The crime can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. If the damage to the property is below $400, the crime is charged as a misdemeanor, and if it’s $400 or greater, the charge is generally a felony.
Vandalism charges are most often brought about when someone defaces, damages, or destroys city property or private property (storefronts, factories, etc.). However, there are a number of situations that can result in vandalism charges. For example, destroying property that you and a spouse both own can be considered vandalism, as can writing your name in wet cement.
When charged as a misdemeanor, the potential penalties include up to 1 year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 (or $5,000 if you have a prior vandalism conviction), and informal probation. If charged as a felony, the potential penalties are increased, and include up to 1 year in county jail, a maximum fine of $10,000 (or up to $50,000 if the amount of damage was $10,000 or more), and/or informal probation.