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Two surrender to police for vandalizing Greek Orthodox Church

Two men turned themselves into police after vandalizing the Greek Orthodox Church in Greenport last week.

Mitchell Maver, 22, of Burlington, Vt., and Wesley Brown, 21, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. surrendered to Southold Town Police Thursday. They are both charged with criminal mischief in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor.

A glass window pane on the southwest corner of the church, as well as flower pots and a large sign in the front of the church, were reported damaged by the priest around 7:45 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, police said.

The two suspects were caught on security video committing the acts and called the church earlier this week to apologize, The Rev. Jerasimos Ballas said. The Rev. Ballas said the two men admitted to being drunk at the time, adding that they did not recall the details of the incident. A video clip of the surveillance footage released to media helped identify the suspects, police said.

“It is very hard,” he said. “Hopefully, they don’t get a record. I don’t want them to have their careers destroyed, but I want to know it is not appropriate to destroy a church. It is not nice.”

The two men told The Rev. Ballas they would pay the damages, which are estimated to cost thousands, after turning themselves into the police.

“It is good that they turned themselves in,” he said. “They are young kids that did a stupid thing. They said they were going to pay for it and I believe them because they don’t seem like the type of people that do this type of thing every day.”

The Rev. Ballas also said that since the incident community members have offered repair services and money toward the fixes.

Both men were released on $250 bail to appear in court at a future date.

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