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Flowery Branch man accused of spray-painting anti-police phrase on caboose sentenced

A Flowery Branch man accused of slashing postal van tires and spray-painting the city’s historic caboose with anti-police sentiments was sentenced to five years of probation and mental health treatment, according to court documents.

Anthony James Cirone, 22, was indicted on six counts of interference with government property and vandalism to a place of worship. He entered a negotiated plea deal Feb. 2, and Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin sentenced him to five years on probation.

In early November, Cirone was charged with spray-painting “F— Police” and “F12,” a slang abbreviation of the former, on U.S. Postal Service vans, the city’s red caboose and other places around town.

Other areas spray-painted included the back of the gymnasium of First Baptist Church of Flowery Branch, and Cirone was also charged with spray-painting two “X” marks on the entrance signs for the Waterstone subdivision.

Cirone was caught when Flowery Branch Police Chief Chris Hulsey and others were doing surveillance Nov. 8.

Gosselin ordered that Cirone enter mental health treatment with Avita Community Partners or a similar provider, follow these treatment recommendations and take prescribed medications.

The judge also said Cirone will be on probation’s mental health caseload.

When reached for comment, defense attorney Jake Shapiro said there was not much to discuss other than being “happy with the outcome.” 

Shapiro said he was grateful for the cooperation with the prosecution and that Cirone is “able to get the mental health treatment he needs.”

Cirone was also ordered to pay restitution to the city of Flowery Branch, First Baptist Church of Flowery Branch and the Waterstone HOA in amounts of $2,500, $1,250 and $400, respectively.