Sep. 28—A Smithton teen is facing several misdemeanor charges after police said he hand drew crude and vulgar graffiti on five properties, three of which are near churches, according to court papers.
The vandalism included depictions of male genitalia and a racial slur, according to Smithton police. Jeffrey Schoaf Jr., 18, is charged with criminal mischief, institutional vandalism and disorderly conduct.
Borough officers received multiple reports earlier this month of graffiti vandalism on Third and Second streets and in nearby alleys. Police said it appeared a black marker was used on garage doors and fences.
"Both the property owners and their neighbors were offended and disgusted by this vandalism," Chief Michael Natale wrote in the complaint.
After seeking help from the public to identify a suspect, a resident provided police with a video showing a person vandalizing a fence near his home while two others watched. The resident identified Schoaf as the culprit from the video.
Churchgoers next to three of the properties could clearly see the vandalism as they went into their respective buildings for services, police said. One of the churches had graffiti on both sides that was visible out the windows, a pastor told police.
Natale said Schoaf has had previous interactions with police as a juvenile, but did not detail in court papers the nature of those incidents. The charges were sent by summons to Schoaf. He could not be reached and did not have an attorney listed in online court records. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Oct. 31.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .