Admitted Manlius swan egg smasher sentenced to probation and some weekends in jail
Fri, 04 Jan 2013 03:47:57 GMT —
Ross Leone, the man who admitted to stealing and smashing 7 swan eggs in April 2012, was sentenced to three years probation including four weekends in jail for the first month.
Leone, 23, had already plead guilty to criminal mischief and an environmental conservation violation. He was ordered to pay $850 in fines and $2,800 in restitution.
Leone wrote an apology letter addressed to the Manlius Mayor, Mark-Paul Serfin. When given the opportunity to speak in court, he apologized while his mother looked on in tears. He said he made a huge mistake and hopes the village will forgive him one day.
"The way he looked me in the eye, the way he expressed himself, yes I would say he was genuinely sorrowful for what he did. We all make mistakes," says Mayor Serfin.
The village of Manlius says they took this disturbing incident and turned lemons into lemonade. In many ways, its brought the community closer together.
Local store, Dazzle, sold "save our swans" t-shirts for $15 with all the money going to the reward for information in the case. The village thanked owner, Lois Ross, in a special way.
"One swan with the pinked nose was named dazzle after the store and I feel like I have another grandchild," says Ross.
A group of volunteers have also formed the Swan Pond Patrol to avoid similar incidents from happening again in the future.
"We've gone from tragedy to triumph but also for this young man too. I don't want to see him burdened for the rest of his life, not able to live it down, because that's not what we're called to do," says Mayor Serfin.
Mayor Serfin has invited Leone to volunteer with the Swan Pond Patrol.