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2 teens charged in downtown vandalism
Police: 13-year-olds allegedly shot BB guns at buildings, stores and vehicles
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Two 13-year-olds are charged with shooting a BB gun at a number of downtown Gainesville stores, buildings and vehicles.

Gainesville police received reports related to seven different cases around the downtown area. The damage included store windows and vehicles.

“Those little pellets just sent shards of glass everywhere,” said The Guest House Executive Director Dana Chapman. “I had to vacuum the furniture. It was amazing. I’m still finding pieces of glass.”

The Oak Street senior health center lost four windows in the front after pellet fire on March 10, Chapman said. A surveillance camera caught the shooter on tape, Chapman said.

The Gainesville police report lists $5,000 in damage to glass windows and doors.

”Our clients love that daytime light, and sunlight is so important for the depression and for the treatment of Alzheimer’s,” Chapman said. “This is a perfect building for us because it has so much glass.”

At nearby Scott’s on the Square on Bradford Street, owner Scott Dixon is now dealing with the damage to the restaurant.

“We had two of our large plate-glass windows on the lounge side, on the Main Street side, that were shattered,” Dixon said.

He said one of the restaurant’s chefs discovered the broken glass on the morning of March 12, believing it was broken the night before.

Dixon said the estimates for the windows is expected to be more than $1,000.

Since the incident, Chapman said part of the family room space at The Guest House has been sectioned off while repairs are made.

“The monetary damage is going to be bad enough, but what I can see is it’s taking a toll on our patients, because they’re upset because they don’t remember,” Chapman said. “If I explain or one of the staff explains to them what happened, they don’t remember that from day to day.”

The two 13-year-olds were charged with criminal damage to property.

“I would certainly hope that there’s something punitive that they have to do as part of their punishment for their actions, whether it be community service or having them work so they have a little bit greater understanding of the effects of what their actions did in the community,” Dixon said.

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