Two Rowan University students caused nearly $6,000 in damage to Glassboro’s downtown Christmas decorations early Friday, police said.
Officers responded to Glassboro Town Square just after 2 a.m. for a reported disturbance and learned that a man was climbing a Christmas tree in the square in an apparent attempt to remove the star at the top.
When he spotted police approaching, he climbed down and ran.
A section of lights near the top of the tree was disconnected, multiple lights throughout the tree were no longer working and several branches were removed, police said.
In addition, a large Santa hat decoration in the square was knocked over and its support frame damaged.
Police put out a request for tips on Friday.
Several witnesses saw the incident and one shared a cellphone video. Aided by the video, an anonymous tip and Rowan Police, investigators identified the alleged tree vandal was William Fowler, 19, of Demarest, authorities said. Fowler and 19-year-old Matthew Lubicky, of Delran, allegedly damaged the Santa hat, authorities said.
The total cost of town square damage and labor to make repairs was estimated at nearly $6,000, police said.
Before that incident, Fowler and Lubicky allegedly caused more trouble at a parking garage on Mick Drive, where both tried to “aggressively” pull down bicycles locked to a wall mount, police said. Fowler then kicked the rear bumper of a parked vehicle, causing damage, police said.
Both were charged with criminal mischief, obstruction and disorderly conduct, while Fowler was also charged with resisting arrest. A Rowan spokesman confirmed that both men are current students.
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Matt Gray may be reached at [email protected].