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Youths plead guilty to offense

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This week police charged five male youth from Yellow Springs and one from Beavercreek with committing a dangerous “prank” at the home of an Omar Circle resident early in the morning on June 7. After a short investigation of an incident in which several youth threw a lit traffic flare into the occupied home of Yellow Springs High School Cross Country Coach Vince Peters, police cited Matthew Salazar, Geoffrey Pitts, Adam Zaremsky, Will Turner and Brendan Moore, all of Yellow Springs, and Benjamin Lange, of Beavercreek, with disorderly conduct and trespassing, both misdemeanors. Four of the local youth graduated this month from Yellow Springs High School.

According to police records and statements from Sergeant Tom Jones, late on the evening of June 6, a group of youth were on the high school campus when several individuals broke into a school bus and exited with a flare. The group then made its way down West South College Street and talked of a plan to ring the doorbell and run away from the home of Vince and Jennifer Peters on Omar Circle. When they arrived, two of the youth lit the flare, opened the front door, yelled and then threw the flare into the home. While Jennifer Peters sprayed the flame with a fire extinguisher, Vince Peters ran after the perpetrator and tackled him, taking his shoes and hat before he escaped.

During the investigation, police took finger prints from the bus and watched the surveillance videos, which confirmed the identities of most of the offenders.

The charges were heard in Yellow Springs Mayor’s Court on Monday, June 13, where five of the six accused appeared and pled guilty to both offenses. Matthew Salazar was out of the state and will be summoned to the next mayor’s court on June 27. In court on Monday, Mayor David Foubert sentenced each of the five offenders to serve six months probation, pay the maximum penalty of $300 each, plus court costs, complete 35 hours of community service in the school bus barn or Glen Helen, and visit the burn unit at either Miami Valley Hospital or Dayton Children’s Hospital before September 1.

The five youth apologized to Vince Peters and his wife, Jennifer, who were present in court. Vince Peters stated that he and his family felt “violated” and “upset” by the incident, but did not want to “jeopardize the futures of these gentlemen” and so asked that the charges against them be “lenient.”

Mayor Foubert gave the boys a lecture on the dangers of arson as a tool of terror and intimidation and the danger and damage it causes.

“You made a mistake and you have a responsibility to pay for that mistake,” Foubert said. “I don’t want see you in here again. If you don’t complete your community service, you’re in contempt of court.”


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