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Hockey Player and Classmate Arrested for Vandalism

The pair are accused of busting a mailbox at the start of February vacation.

Two New Canaan High Schools students—one a star hockey player—turned themselves Wednesday after allegedly being caught on tape vandalizing a mailbox during winter break.

A security camera belonging to a house on Indian Rock Road recorded a person get out of a vehicle and bash a mailbox at the end of the driveway with a baseball bat around 2:15 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13. The homeowner reported the incident, estimating about $200 worth of damage, later that morning. Police received calls about four other vandalized mailboxes that Saturday that may be linked, but formal complaints were not filed.

Police used the video from the house on Indian Rock to identify 18-year-old James "Bo" McGinniss as the suspected perpetrator and another 17-year-old boy as the suspected driver of the vehicle. Police believe there may have been other passengers in the car, but no one else has yet been named.

A warrant for McGinniss' arrest was issued March 16, in the midst of the state hockey tournament. McGinniss, co-captain of the Rams team, was suspended for the semifinal game against Fairfield Prep, which New Canaan lost 4-3.

Before the start of a season, NCHS requires student athletes and their parents to sign a statement saying that they have read the Athletic Department's handbook, which includes a code of conduct. The conduct rules state that, "a student athlete's violation of any NCHS rule, athletic policy or public law may result in suspension or removal from an athletic team."

While he said that he could not comment on this case in particular, Athletic Director Jay Egan said, "In the past we have acted when we've had knowledge of behavior that violates our code of conduct."

McGinniss, who waited a week to turn himself in after police called to notify him of the warrant out for his arrest, now faces a charge of criminal mischief in the 2nd degree. He was released Wednesday on $500 bond and is due in Norwalk Court April 6.

The 17-year-old did respond to police calls letting him know a warrant against him was pending, and turned himself the day after it was officially issued March 23. He was charged with conspiracy to commit criminal mischief in the 2nd degree and driving after 11 p.m. in violation of Connecticut's curfew restricting drivers under 18.

"This is part of the reason why I support the restrictions on teen driving," said New Canaan Police Sgt. Carol Ogrinc. "Only bad things happen after midnight."

The 17-year-old posted $2,500 bond and is due in Norwalk Juvenile Court April 7.

Bob Saget March 26, 2010 at 04:03 AM
Dear whoever wrote the worst article in mankind. I don't know who you think you are. But what gives you the right to write such an absurd article about a wonderful young man. What gives you the right to embarrass this TEENAGER on a public blog. Are you related to Brian Peppers or possibly the monkey that gave the world AIDS. You cannot simply go around shouting out the names of well-intentioned high schoolers just because of one mistake. Do you think Barack Obama's parents go around telling people their son was the biggest mistake ever. No. It doesn't work that way. Go move to Mali where they don't have computers.
To: Amy Jeffries March 26, 2010 at 04:09 AM
Wow. Amy Jeffries I have a few questions I'd like you to answer to the public. 1. Why couldn't this wait until the police report you put up every monday? 2. How come a high school kid with a bright future gets his own 'personal' police report written about him when adults who commit much more serious crimes such as DUI's and Assualt only get a small paragraph on the Monday police reports? It's almost as if you are saying mailboxing is more serious than drinking and driving. 3. Why did you go out of your way to twitter this article to your followers? 4. Why did you feel the need to ruin the senior year of one of the schools most respected student athletes? Have a nice day.
Amy Jeffries March 26, 2010 at 05:02 PM
The vandalism for which these two students were arrested was not an isolated event, and other kids have likely participated in this kind of mischief. A half dozen vandalized mailboxes in the Jelliff Mill area were discovered Feb. 17; seven more such incidents, including a couple on Indian Rock Road, were reported the weekend before Halloween; police got 10 calls about mailbox vandalism during the recent power outage. In most cases, the property owners did not file formal complaints and the perpetrators have not been identified.
Amy Jeffries March 27, 2010 at 05:27 PM
This story has been corrected. Allegedly the camera only caught one person getting out of the car on Indian Rock Road and strike a mailbox. The 17-year-old is thought to have remained in the car, which he was allegedly driving.
Amy Jeffries April 18, 2010 at 04:03 PM
On April 15, McGinniss pleaded not guilty to criminal mischief.

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