On November 2, the Ramapo Police Department (RPD) was summoned to a critical incident at a communication tower in the Village of Sloatsburg, following reports of significant damage. Officers on the scene discovered extensive vandalism, with several large cables crucial for communication services forcibly cut from the tower.
The act of vandalism severely impacted essential services, including the backup communication system of the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, the damage disrupted the operations of Veolia Water and Verizon Wireless. Preliminary estimates place the value of the damage at upwards of $125,000.
In a swift response, the Ramapo Police Investigations Division, collaborating with the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office and the Rockland County Intelligence Unit, initiated a thorough investigation. This joint effort led to the identification and subsequent arrest of a 30-year-old male suspect from Queens, NY.
The suspect faces multiple charges, including three counts of Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree (D-Felony), one count of Grand Larceny 2nd Degree (C-Felony), two counts of Grand Larceny 3rd Degree (D-Felony), one count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 2nd Degree (C-Felony), two counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 3rd Degree (D-Felony), Obstructing Governmental Administration (A-Misdemeanor), one count of Conspiracy 4th Degree (E-Felony), and two counts of Conspiracy 5th Degree (A-Misdemeanor).
Following his arrest, the defendant was presented before Honorable Judge Jefferson and was released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to return to the Sloatsburg court on November 15.
It is important to note that a criminal complaint is not a declaration of guilt. The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The case has garnered significant attention due to the scale of the vandalism and its impact on public and emergency services.