A young man and a juvenile are accused of shooting dozens of street lights in Hopewell.
It happened Saturday night in the Farmingdale neighborhood. Authorities say 20-year-old Bryan Wallace and a teenager were shooting the lights. A neighbor called police, and later that night, with Wallace on his way to jail, 13-year-old Austin Baumgartner was brought home in a squad car.
"I was in shock. I was about to cry. I did cry," said Laura Wescott, Austin's mother.
"As a mother, you would never hope to hear that your child did something like that," she said.
Wescott said Wallace began living with her family about a year ago. He became friends with her son. So it was only natural, she said, that when police, with their guns drawn, had caught the pair on Saturday night, her son had the better idea.
"The 20-year-old [Wallace] started to run, and my son stopped him by knocking him down," Wescott said. "He saved both of their lives."
Saved their lives, because at that moment, police had no way of knowing the young men carried only BB guns, instead of something more dangerous.
The pair caused at least $6,000 worth of damage, according to police.
Wescott called it a life-long lesson for her son and for parents everywhere.
"You have to be ever so conscious of what they are doing," she said.
Wallace is accused of felony vandalism, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and discharging a BB gun in the city.
Authorities say charges against the 13-year-old are pending. In the meantime, police are urging those in the Farmingdale neighborhood of Hopewell to check for damage that hasn't been reported yet.
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