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Judge Warns Vandals Ahead of Devil's Night

District Judge Robert Wyda says the new Castle Doctrine law in Pennsylvania changes how people view strangers.

"Devil's Night," the night before Halloween, is a time when some residents in Upper St. Clair experience vandalism each year.

District Judge Robert Wyda this year urges would-be vandals not to participate, especially because of the new Castle Doctrine law in Pennsylvania—a law which expands the homeowner's right to protect himself or herself with lethal force.

"I am very concerned that the new Castle Doctrine law could cause a trigger-happy citizen to prematurely hurt a kid whose motives are not criminal but purely mischievous," he said. "The law really changes how people view strangers."

Upper St. Clair police told Patch this summer that the township was experiencing a rash of vandalism that was "particularly destructive."

"It's no longer just mischievous fun for kids. It's now become damaging property and seriously annoying people," Wyda said.

Citizens convicted of vandalism in Upper St. Clair could ending up paying hundreds of dollars in fines and at worst—end up in jail.

Township Manager Matthew Serakowski said police would be conducting their normal patrols on "Devil's Night."

Last year, there was no school on Halloween. This year, class is scheduled.

The weather forecast on Tuesday night calls for a 100 percent chance of rain.

william atwell October 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM
I really think it is sad. What is worse is there are people who have there heads so far in the sand they don't want to believe it could be their kids
william atwell October 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Such a shame that kids are getting this bold. What is even Sad to me is when I hear people say it must be kids from Bethel or Bridgeville or such because it couldn't be a kid from Upper St Clair. Sometimes I think people have there heads to deep in the sand.
James November 01, 2012 at 03:34 PM
The USC children spend their free time studying and volunteering their free time to the needy. Mr. Atwell, are you 100% sure they are USC children doing it?

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