January 10, 2017
On December 23, 2016 at approximately 10 a.m., LCSO Deputies responded to the Buck Bay subdivision located on NW 70 Avenue in Chiefland after receiving a report of vandalism. A Buck Bay resident found the entrance sign and the road at the entrance to the subdivision had been spray painted with sexually explicit symbols and other symbols commonly associated with hate groups. Road signs at the entrance had been removed and painted, too. Shortly after receiving this report, other reports of similar types of damage in this same general area were called into the Dispatch Center at the LCSO. Deputies collected evidence located at each scene and discovered most, if not all of these acts, appeared to have been perpetrated by the same individuals.
Deputy J.J. Roe had previously located two juveniles asleep in a disabled vehicle in the 9500 block of NW 70th Avenue prior to the first vandalism report being filed. Deputy Roe noticed the juveniles had dirty dark colored finger tips during his interview with them. Deputy Roe contacted the juvenile’s parents to come and remove the disabled car and take them home.
Deputy Roe continued his investigation and documented the bar code from spray paint cans he collected at the Buck Bay crime scene. He contacted Loss Prevention at Wal-Mart and reviewed video surveillance footage. Deputy Roe discovered multiple cans of the same type and color of spray paint had been purchased at approximately 3 a.m. by the juveniles he located earlier that morning. Deputy Roe later contacted and interviewed the juveniles, Cason Smith (16) and Dawlton Tilley (16), who confessed to each act.
Smith and Tilley were arrested on December 25, 2016 and have been charged with Criminal Mischief (Property Damage) to the Buck Bay Subdivision signs, Long Pond Baptist Church signs, First Baptist Church of Chiefland signs and numerous road signs. The estimated damage exceeds $4,200 combined in these incidents. Both Smith and Tilley have been released to their parents and will be appearing in the Levy County Courts to answer to these felony charges.