A 16-year-old was arrested after police spotted him making graffiti on the exterior walls of a Riverhead business Saturday night, town police said.
Manuel Fuentes Lopez of Riverhead was with an unknown male subject painting the graffiti police linked to the MS-13 gang on an Elton Street business shortly before 11 p.m. when officers in a police C.O.P.E. unit attempted to apprehend them.
Both suspects fled on foot and police say they spotted Manuel on nearby Phillips Street and arrested him.
At Manuel’s arraignment Sunday, Riverhead Town Justice Richard Ehlers said the teen admitted to police he sprayed the graffiti, saying “Yes it was me. I did the painting.”
The teen’s parents were in the courtroom Sunday and Judge Ehlers had a message for the family.
“You have to have a chat as a family,” he said. “He can’t go around painting buildings. This will not end well.
“He’s going to throw his life away.”
Manuel identified himself to the judge as a high school student and said he did not work. The Lopez’s posted $500 bail for their son.
The other subject was not apprehended by police.