COOPERSTOWN – A 45-year-old, Luke Smith, 67 Chestnut St., was arraigned in Otsego Town Court this afternoon on charges of spray-painting big Xes on 12 “Mask on Main” signs late Monday night in Business District.
Five of the signs were 24- by 36-inch sandwich boards at the entry to Cooperstown’s downtown, designed to alert visitors that mask-wearing is required on Main Street sidewalks between Fair and Chestnut streets, and on adjacent sections of Pioneer Street.
Seven were 12- by 10-inch signs in “rain gardens,” the plantings that line Main Street.
Arraigned before Town Justice Gary Kuch, Smith was charged with criminal mischief, fourth degree, a misdemeanor, for “intentionally damaging property of another person.”
The signs, which were printed plastic, were worth $238.74, short of the $250 that would have elevated Smith’s alleged actions to a felony.
His next court date will be Nov. 18.
The vandalism was discovered Tuesday morning by early morning joggers and walkers, and the evidence was assembled at the police station at 22 Main.
Chief Frank Cavilieri and Senior Police Officer Jim Kelman dusted the signs for fingerprints and examined surveillance videos to build their case. But Tuesday a suspect, presumably Smith, had come forward and taken responsibility, according to Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch.