Teen arrested after Cairo vandalism spree

July 27, 2017 12:33 PM

CAIRO - A teenager is being charged in the slashing of those banners that honor veterans in Greene County. The teen turned himself in amid pressure from the community.

"I like Cairo, I think Cairo's a beautiful little town, a lot of good people here," said Khyle Smith.

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When Smith heard of the slashings of banners that honor veterans, like most, he wondered who would do such a thing in this Hudson Valley town.

"It's like a lesser form of vandalism in their eyes. I guess rather than take a spray paint can and spray something on the wall, why not just destroy something and get your feelings done and over with, rather than deal with your problems the way you're supposed to," he said.

The banners are hung low unlike in other towns. The question is are they too low? If you're walking and not paying attention, you can walk right into them. However, they are a lot lower than even last year.

"For us, what we're celebrating is the commitment and the sacrifice of not only the individuals who served, but their families who had to do without and in many cases didn't have income," said Sylvia Hasenkopf, the president of the Cairo Historical Society.

The banners, 289 in all, are hung from May to October and range from the French & Indian War to present day, people who have served in war and peacetime. That includes Smith, who served briefly in the Army in Oklahoma.

"I just think it's the decline of youth and the thinking and the mindset of youth nowadays," said Smith.

Police are not releasing his name because he is 17. They say that's pending youthful offender status.


WNYT Staff

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