Teens Trash NJ Home Of War Veteran On Duty
PEDRICKTOWN, NJ (CBS) — Several teens were arrested after they broke into and wrecked the New Jersey home of an Air Force Sergeant who was on active duty taking wounded troops home.
Air Force Master Sgt. Jeff Springsteen says area juveniles broke a small basement window to get in and party inside his Pedricktown home, turning the place upside down.
Springsteen says they drank his beer, vomited and relieved themselves on mattresses. They also threw a TV into the wall and shattered a sliding glass door.
“It was scary. The easiest way to describe it is that it looked like a tornado went through the interior of my house,” explained Springsteen.
The incident happened in early September as Springsteen, who deploys often to Iraq and Afghanistan, was on active duty for one week in Illinois. He was flying wounded soldiers back to their home bases.
“I’ve been in the Air Force for over 23 years now and I’ve been in every U.S. conflict since then … and I have never had something bother me as bad as this did,” Springsteen said.
New Jersey State Police say seven juveniles between the ages of 11 and 16 were involved in the break-in, burglary and vandalism.
Four of them were arrested at a local bank the next day for apparent lewd behavior in the parking lot. Three remaining teenagers have been arrested since.
Springsteen says they stole cash, jewelry and a Nintendo game station.
Insurance adjusters still don’t have an exact figure on the damage.
Springsteen says he has been nervous in the house at night. He considers it a crime that has invaded his privacy and peace of mind.
Springsteen said he wants the young suspects prosecuted, and he wants them to pay restitution for his out pocket cost of repairs.
The suspects have been charged with burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and vandalism.
Reported By: Cydney Long, CBS 3