Two 17-year-olds were charged Friday with ethnic intimidation in connection with a Koylton Township incident that occurred right after last November’s election.
Anthony Robert Ford, 17, Allenton, and Jacob Jonathan Peters, 17, of Brown City, were charged in Tuscola County District Court.
Each defendant faces a single count of ethnic intimidation — punishable by a maximum of two years in jail.
The incident took place in the early morning hours of Nov. 12 on Smith Road in Koylton Township, located in the southeast corner of Tuscola County and with a population of about 1,630.
A person described as being of “Mexican descent” awoke to find boxes taped together in form of a makeshift wall, blocking the driveway. The boxes were painted in red spray paint with messages alluding to President Trump “taking back America” and “Mexicans suck.”
Police also found a doll made of balloons hanging nearby and vulgar graffiti spray painted on the driveway.
Tuscola County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Reene said the duo turned themselves in to the Tuscola County Sheriff’s Department.
“Obviously, an extraordinarily bad decision was made by two 17-year-olds, but the positive part is that they did come forward, and they did provide the information,” Reene told The Advertiser.
When the graffiti was first discovered, Tuscola County Sheriff Glen Skrent said, “This is a crime. This sort of thing will not be tolerated.”
Since then, Tuscola County Sheriff’s Department deputies and detectives have been working to investigate the matter “thoroughly, professionally, and comprehensively,” Reene said.
“One of the defendant’s had previously been in a relationship with a member of the victim’s household,” Reene said Friday.
By turning themselves in, Reene said the teens prevented further investigation from being necessary.
However, he echoed Skrent’s statement from the time of the alleged incident and said “this type of thing will not be tolerated.”
A preliminary exam hearing had not been set by press time.
Andrew Dietderich is editor of The Advertiser and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org