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Vandals busted after residents aid police PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 08 September 2010 18:13

Four teens arrested for mailbox-smashing spree in Port, including one awaiting sentence on felony drug charges

A group of west-side Port Washington residents who saw a car full of teenage vandals smash mailboxes with a baseball bat while speeding through their subdivision Saturday night put lawn chairs in the street to slow the vehicle — a move that allowed them to get the license-plate number and report the youths to police.

Four youths were arrested in connection with the incident, including a Grafton teenager who is awaiting sentencing on three felony counts of selling marijuana.

Andrew B. Kellett, 17, was charged in Ozaukee County court Tuesday with felony bail jumping in connection with Saturday’s incident.

He and Maxwell Savatski, 18, of Port Washington, were also charged with six misdemeanor counts of being a party to criminal damage to property for smashing six mailboxes during Saturday’s spree.

Two other 17-year-old boys from Grafton are expected to be charged with misdemeanors in connection with the incident later this week, District Attorney Adam Gerol said Tuesday.

Police lauded the actions of the residents.

“We couldn’t have done this without them,” Port Washington Police Lt. Eric Leet said. “This is a testament to the quality of our citizens, and a sign of a strong neighborhood. They look out for each other.”

Police Chief Richard Thomas said the incident had the potential for far more serious consequences.

“This could have gotten much worse,” he said. “This could have escalated. These teenagers put a lot of people at risk, including themselves.

“This was an excellent case of residents helping police.”

In the drug case against Kellett, he is accused of being a major player in a marijuana distribution ring. He was among six teens, all Grafton High students at the time, who were arrested in
April in a sting operation conducted by the county’s multi-jurisdictional drug task force.

Kellett, who pleaded guilty to three felony counts of selling marijuana, is scheduled to be sentenced in that case on Sept. 21. Gerol said last month that his office was asking Judge Paul Malloy to withhold a prison sentence and instead order Kellett to a lengthy period of probation and one year in the county jail.

Kellett was free on $5,000 bail on the conditions that he neither drink alcohol nor use controlled substances and that he observe a 10 p.m. curfew.

Saturday’s incident occurred about 11:15 p.m. when police said the youths left an underage drinking party at Savatski’s home in the Greystone subdivision on the city’s south side, driving north into the nearby Bley Park Estates subdivision at speeds estimated to be as high as 60 mph, smashing mailboxes and the taillight of a parked car.

The group of adults enjoying a campfire on Brian Court heard the car and the damage and saw the youths striking mailboxes in the area, police said. When the car turned onto Brian Court, they placed their chairs in the road to slow the vehicle as it traveled up and down the dead-end street.

Police traced the license plate number and were able to identify the driver and his passengers.

According to police, the teenagers gathered at Savatski’s home for a party earlier in the evening. Kellett told police that the other three consumed beer and smoked marijuana before deciding to smash mailboxes in the area, the complaint states.

One of the Grafton teens drove the vehicle, police said, adding that he and one of the other teens were ticketed for underage consumption of alcohol.

The driver was also cited for reckless driving, police said.

On Tuesday, Judge Sandy Williams set Kellett’s bail at $1,500 and Savatski’s at $500. She also ordered the two to have no contact with each other, and Savatski to maintain absolute sobriety.

A plea hearing for Savatski is set for Tuesday, Sept. 21. A status conference for Kellett is set for the same day.

If convicted of bail jumping, Kellett faces a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

In the drug case, he faces a total maximum penalty of 13 years in prison and a $30,000 fine for the three counts.

He and Savatski each face a maximum nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine for each count of criminal damage to property.

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