Many Clyde residents and business owners were frustrated earlier this year when a group of teens spray painted graffiti on property around the city.
But they got an apology Tuesday night when five teens stood before council and admitted their actions were destructive and irresponsible.
Sandusky County Juvenile Judge Brad Smith said the teens had been caught by Clyde police and admitted they had vandalized city property.
In addition to community service and, in some cases, time in the juvenile detention center, the teens were required to apologize to the city council for their actions.
Smith told the board that in the past,thejuvenilecourthasrequired letters of apology to victims of juvenile crimes. He said, however, as a new judge he is trying to do things differently to best help the teens and the community.
“Because of the public nature of the offenses, I thought something more public than a letter would be appropriate,” Smith said.
The teens, dressed in slacks, pressed shirts and ties, told council they now understand their actions were careless and they want to be better citizens.
“I continue to (be) accountable for my actions and will continue to do my part to keep the community clean and safe,” said one boy.
The teens did not give their names to protect their identity as juvenile offenders. They sat quietly with their parents through the rest of the council meeting. Smith said it was a good opportunity for a civics lesson.
Council members thanked the teens for their apology and asked them to make better choices in the future.
“When the vandalism was occurring in Clyde, to be honest, I was very angry about it ... of course the vandals had no faces,” said councilwoman Carolyn Farrar. “You look like fine young adults who made a mistake, but probably the biggest mistake any of us make in our life is to not stop the behavior.”