Cops arrest teen in vandalism case


With the help of surveillance cameras and other investigative tools as their disposal, police have made an arrest in connection to a case of what they’re describing as hate vandalism in Fieldston. 

Jared Lewis, 16, was picked up Sept. 13 after the New York Police Department’s hate crimes task force combed through hours of surveillance footage near the vandalized home. 

Lewis and two other boys had been out drinking on Sept. 8, 50th Precinct deputy inspector Terence O’Toole said, when Lewis decided to damage the door. 

“The two people that were with him were there, but they didn’t participate,” O’Toole said. “They actually ended up being witnesses against him.”

The vandalism apparently was not intended to target any particular house or family, O’Toole added, but the teen could still be tried as an adult for a hate crime.

“This was a Riverdale resident — maybe he wasn’t a Fieldston resident, but he lived in the area,” O’Toole said. “And it wasn’t on the south side of the precinct, either.”

Finding the alleged vandal wasn’t all that hard, O’Toole said, given the heavy attention that helped produce anonymous tips when it came to the vandalism. The investigation took a turn toward being solved after a poster showing the alleged suspects was circulated around the community. 

“We got a lot of Crime Stoppers calls on this,” O’Toole said. “I mean, it took us four days, 96 hours. That’s not bad at all.”

Any charges will be up to the state attorney’s office. Even then, under the law, Lewis is presumed innocent until a jury finds otherwise.