Three SUNY Oswego students arrested for vandalizing elk statue outside city's Elk's Lodge

John A. Yonkers (left), Michael V. DiNorcia (center) and Samuel R Bobbette (right) (Provided by Oswego City Police)

Oswego authorities have arrested three SUNY Oswego students in connection to vandalism of the new elk statue outside the city's Elk's Lodge.

According to Oswego Police, Michael V. DiNorcia, 20, of Massapequa, Samuel R. Bobbette, 20, of Piseco, and John A. Yonkers, 20, of Albany, were charged with criminal mischief in the 4th degree for recklessly damaging property, a class A misdemeanor.

"Any student or students who violate our student code of conduct are subject to disciplinary action," said Dr. Jerri Howland, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (Interim) and Dean of Students. "This is more than about just violating the law; if our students have not acted as good citizens in our community, we take that very seriously."

On Halloween, Oswego Elks Lodge unveiled its brand new elk statue— a symbol honoring the chapter's 125th anniversary and members who've died. It had an approximate value of $3,000.

One week after it was installed, club members arrived to find the antlers torn off.

"A lot of people worked very hard to raise the money to buy that elk," said longtime club member Thomas Milum. " We're all very hurt."

The non-profit group prides itself on charitable work with veterans and scholarships for students. The Elks handed over surveillance video to police showing the vandals, in the act.

The Oswego City Police Department, following up on an investigatory lead, was able to locate and identify all of the involved individuals.

“On behalf the Elk’s Lodge 271 we would like to thank the members Oswego City Police Department for their hard work in locating those responsible for causing the damage," said Nelson Metz, Exalted Ruler of the Oswego Elk’s Lodge. "I understand that the investigating officers spent a considerable amount of time conducting interviews and canvassing surrounding neighborhoods which ultimately led to identifying the three subjects. We are certainly grateful for their hard work.”

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