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South Colonie bus vandals caught

Today (Thursday, June 19), Colonie police announced the arrests of two individuals being charged with the bus vandalism which caused the South Colonie Central School District to close school for the day on Friday, June 13.

The individuals, Eric LaClair, 17, of Colonie, and Thomas Hope, 18, homeless, are being charged with second-degree criminal mischief, a felony, criminal trespassing and criminal tampering, both misdemeanors.

According to the police report, LaClair and Hope scaled the fence of the South Colonie School District bus garage, at 2 Winston Place, Colonie, and entered 38 out of 80 buses, setting of fire extinguishers and \causing the buses to be inoperable.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Marcelle said Monday, June 16, that the district was forced to hire an outside cleaning service over the weekend to restore the buses. At that time, an estimate of how much the district would have to pay to clean up the mess was not immediately available. Several events districtwide were cancelled Friday as a result of the vandalism, including the sixth grade architecture field trip to Albany and two elementary school's field days.

At a press conference held Thursday, June 19, Marcelle confirmed that LaClair and Hope "are two of our students and two of our senior class members." Marcelle would not comment on whether the students would be allowed to graduate, but did say the students would be suspended and five days later a Superintendent's hearing would be held, sometime earlier next week.

"We will not tolerate this type of behavior," said South Colonie Board of Education President Tim Ryan at Thursday's press conference. Lt. John VanAlstyne, also speaking at the conference, said that the students are being lodged at the Albany County Jail.

For more on this story, check back at www.spotlightnews.com, or read the June 25 print edition of the Colonie Spotlight.""

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