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Teens allegedly caused $50,000 in damage to home being built for disabled veteran

By CODY SHEPARD | The Enterprise, Brockton, Mass. | Published: September 27, 2018

HANSON, Mass. (Tribune News Service) — Plastic film covered two dozen windows of a home under construction on Monday for a local disabled veteran. Beneath the now-plastic-covered openings, broken glass was visible throughout the property.

That's because police say two juveniles broke all the glass windows and damaged three doors and lighting fixtures at the home, delaying a project that was supposed to put the Army vet in his new home by Thanksgiving.

Police Chief Michael Miksch said his department received a report of vandalism to the home, under construction on State Street, on Monday.

The home was being built by Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors, an organization that builds and remodels handicap-accessible homes to suit individuals needs of injured military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Allen is a former National Football League defensive end.

The home in Hanson is designed for Paul Skarinka, a Whitman native who is currently a Plympton firefighter and Brewster Ambulance paramedic and was a corporal in the United States Army.

Skarinka was critically injured on his first tour of duty while on a mission in Sadr City outside Baghdad in September 2004. He suffered a severed artery and serious damage to his left arm and leg in a rocket-propelled grenade explosion. As a result of numerous surgeries, Skarinka's left leg was amputated below the knee and his left arm was partially amputated.

Police say 24 windows, three doors and some lighting that had already been installed were vandalized, totaling about $50,000 in damage.

Neighbors told police they saw two male suspects in the area on Saturday night. A follow-up investigation by Lt. Michael Casey and officer Elisha Sullivan led to police identifying two juvenile male suspects.

"The juveniles were identified by canvassing the neighborhood and surveillance footage from neighbors," Miksch said.

The two juveniles were brought to the police station by their parents, who cooperated with the investigation, on Monday night, the chief said. The two boys, both 16 years old, were arrested and charged with vandalism.

"This incident is disheartening," Miksch said. "When a veteran and his family, who have sacrificed so much for our country, become the victim of a senseless crime it hurts us all. The parents of the two juveniles understand the pain this has caused and we appreciate their cooperation."

Alex Karalexis, the lead project manager for the home in Hanson, said the vandalism will set the project back potentially five weeks. The goal of the organization was initially to give Skarinka the keys to his new mortgage-free home before Thanksgiving.

"This wasn't just throwing a rock through a window of an abandoned warehouse," Karalexis told reporters outside the home Monday night. "This was the home of a disabled veteran that was looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with his family and now that's probably not going to happen."

The project is being funded by volunteers and donations through Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors, as well as the New England Carpenters Training Fund and Commodore Builders. The Wounded Warriors organization says it will need to find money from other sources to finish the home after the damage that was caused.

An online fundraiser has been created through Classy.org to raise money to make-up for the $50,000 in damages.

The two 16-year-old boys will be arraigned at a later time in Plymouth Juvenile Court, but the result isn't public because they are minors.

Hanson police officer Brent Peterson and the Plymouth County Bureau of Criminal Investigation unit from the Sheriff's Department assisted in the investigation.

©2018 The Enterprise, Brockton, Mass.
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