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5 teens face felony charges for $200,000 in vandalism at vacant restaurant

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Five teenagers are facing felony charges for allegedly vandalizing the long-vacant Crow’s Nest restaurant building on Maysville Road during the summer.

Five individuals, ranging in age from 13 to 16, have been charged with aggravated criminal mischief and burglary, both Class C felony crimes, for allegedly breaking into and vandalizing the building, the Presque Isle Police Department announced in a news release. The juveniles, who are not being identified by police because they are under the age of 18, have been released to their parents’ custody to await court proceedings, Presque Isle Police Chief Matt Irwin said.

The damages to the former brewpub and event center are estimated to total $217,000, based on cleaning and repair projections, according to the news release. The police first learned of the incident on Aug. 2, when they received a formal complaint about damage.

Irwin said the incident was not publicized immediately because of “outstanding interviews to be completed.” Information from residents also aided in the police investigation.

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Dana Cassidy has owned the 12,000-square-foot building and tried to market office space in it since 2013, when the Crow’s Nest Restaurant and Event Center closed after three years in operation. The building originally opened in 2004 as the short-lived Slopes Northern Maine Restaurant and Brewing Co.

“It’s a lot of money,” Cassidy said of the damage inside the building. He declined to comment further, citing advice by his attorney not to publicly comment while the insurance and legal proceedings take place.

Graffiti, a partially broken window and small pieces of police tape are all that are visible from the outside, but the inside was extensively damaged, Irwin said.

“Virtually all of the glass in the interior of the building was broken, leaving the carpet throughout the building covered in shards of glass,” Irwin said in an email. “The carpet is not able to be cleaned and must be replaced in its entirety. All of the fireplaces were extensively damaged. Most of the interior walls were damaged and in need of repair. All of the chandeliers were broken along with the wall sconces.”

A conviction on a Class C crime is punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.

The destruction at the vacant Crow’s Nest building follows a wave of vandalism that hit Presque Isle’s Mantle Lake Park in June and caused more than $5,000 in damage. Four juveniles have been charged with Class C felony mischief and trespass charges, and none are the same as those charged in the Crow’s Nest vandalism, according to Irwin.


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