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The Dirty Baker's Dozen: 13 students trash "Hockey House"

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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: The Dirty Baker's Dozen: 13 students trash "Hockey House"

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Dirty Baker's Dozen: 13 students trash "Hockey House"

CLIFTON PARK - Thirteen Shen students and alumni were charged with causing as much as $10,000 in damage to a Halfmoon house during a series of parties last month.
According to State Police, 23 charges were filed against 13 individuals, all of which are younger than the legal drinking age. Charges were filed against Maxwell C. Bobrow, 18, Andrew J. Cantiello, 17, James Christopher Curley, 16, Michael R. Elsworth, 18, Ryan T. Farnan, 16, Chancellor S. Lieb, 16, Dominic M. Marinello, 17, Patrick J. McAuliffe, 19, Joseph Moffre, 17, Patrick M. Neilley, 18, Robert J. Visicaro, 17 of Clifton Park along with Mitchell S. DeWein, 17, and Joseph E. Smith-Rovitch, 17, of Mechanicville.
Most of the youths were charged with third-degree criminal mischief, a felony, punishable by up to four years in jail, and second-degree criminal trespass, a misdemeanor, which could carry a jail sentence of up to one year. Other charges include making a sworn false statement and unlawfully dealing with a child (providing alcohol to an underage person), both misdemeanors.
Results of an ongoing investigation by State Police Troop G have determined a series of parties were held at 1542 Route 9 on between March 16 and 24.
Clifton Park resident and founder of the Capital District Selects hockey team Jim Salfi confirmed he filed a police report after returning from an out-of-town trip. Salfi said he rents the location to several of his CD Selects Junior A hockey players who travel to the area to compete from across the nation. The CD Selects Junior A team competes in the Eastern Jr. Hockey League, and the CD Selects Junior B team competes in the Empire Jr. B Hockey League. Neither team competes or is associated with the Shenendehowa varsity hockey program. The CD Selects season ended in early March, and his tenants left early in the month.
"I went over there after the kids were done," Salfi said. "I hire a cleaning person to do the rugs, the hardwood floors and general cleaning. That is what I was in the process of doing. When I found the house like that, I reported it immediately."
The CD Selects coach said that he knew something was wrong upon entering the home.
"Someone had been in there," Salfi said. "I did a quick walkthrough and then called the police."
Salfi invited the media to the property for a walkthrough of the damage. With beer bottles and large cups still in plain view on a table in the building's dining room, large holes in the sheetrock were visible along the hallway. A few steps away in one bedroom, a door was off its hinges and placed in front of three large holes in the sheetrock. In the basement, large portions of the ceiling were torn.
"You feel violated," Salfi said. "Having been around teenagers for 40 years, speculating, based on what I saw, it was more just accidental damage from drinking too much."
The property at 1542 Route 9 just south of the Wal-Mart in Halfmoon on the opposite side of the road is set back and also guarded by a large tree,
making it easy for cars to be parked behind and near the home without creating suspicion. Parents, students and police referred to it as "the hockey house."
During a press conference Wednesday morning at Troop G headquarters, police said the investigation continues on a party held at the house on Thursday, March 22, which is believed to have been attended by more than 80 Shenendehowa students. On Friday, March 23, Shenendehowa did not have classes due to a scheduled superintendent's conference.
The State Police have been in contact with the Shenendehowa Central School District, and Superintendent Dr. L. Oliver Robinson answered questions during the press conference. Several of the students charged are Shenendehowa athletes. Police suspect many of the individuals at the March 22 party were also athletes. Robinson said students confirmed to be at any of the parties held at the home would face disciplinary action through the school's code of conduct.
Because of the number of individuals involved, including athletes, the matter is being handled by the high school principal, assistant principals and class principals.
Salfi said parents of students involved contacted him asking if restitution for the damage would alleviate any potential charges.
"I said 'no,' " Salfi said. "The way the system works, I'm sure a lot of this will be plea-bargained down and I expect restitution will be a big part of it. I'm leaving it up to the courts. If I had my choice, I would take restitution versus a felony."
All 13 youths charged appeared voluntarily at the Troop G station Tuesday. They all received appearance tickets for April 12 at the Town of Halfmoon Court. Curley, Farnan and Neilley also received appearance tickets for the Town of Clifton Park regarding false statement charges for April 11.

Photos of the damage will be added shortly. Also: All 13 were arraigned in Town of Halfmoon Court and had their cases adjourned (moved) to April 24 with one exception. The three individuals facing false statement charges have also been adjourned (moved) to April 19.

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