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PAHS Senior Charged with Graffiting ‘Nazi’ Message on Masonic Lodge

The crime occurred overnight between Friday and Saturday.

A senior at with no prior criminal history has been charged with defacing the front of the Masonic Lodge with Nazi and ‘New World Order’-themed graffiti, breaking into the Church Street building, and stealing ‘hundred-year-old’ documents from a glass case therein over Memorial Day Weekend, according to Phoenixville Police.

Scott Damon O'Connell, 18, of the 300 block of Pothouse Road, was found sleeping in a van on Cherry Street by the van’s owner at 8:30 a.m. on May 26. Phoenixville Police Sergeant Tom Goggin told Patch that when O'Connell was discovered, he was wearing a Masonic Lodge jacket, carrying a Masonic Lodge plaque along with some unusual documents, and smelled strongly of alcohol.

Police also found a can of spray-paint by the van.

Police went to the lodge to investigate and found a profane screed referencing Nazis and the ‘New World Order’ spray-painted across the front door of the building, and three wire-reinforced windows on the bottom of the door kicked in.

At this point, the officers, escorted by lodge master Anthony DiGirolomo, entered the building and discovered that O'Connell had apparently opened the front door through one of the shattered windows and made it to the building’s third floor, where he ransacked a display case that held, among other things, hundred-year-old documents belonging to the organization.

Goggin said he was charged, in part, based on fingerprints taken from the door.

Goggin said that O'Connell–who has some superficial cuts that resulted, they believe, from his wedging his arm through the glass door–hasn’t said much to officers since his arrest, save for some statements that betray what Goggin described as “anti-government leanings.”

The sergeant emphasized that the teen has no history of criminal behavior–”I’d never heard of him before now,” he said–but didn’t rule out mental illness as a motivator.

“At some point he’s going to have an assessment done,” said Goggin.

Bob May 31, 2012 at 04:19 PM
This isn't related to the article, but I'm not sure where else to post this. I just wanted to give Phoenixville and Schuylkill Township residents a heads up concerning two men, one older and the other a younger man, driving around in two dark colored pickup trucks. After receiving a phone message early yesterday morning concerning house repairs we did not order, these two men came to our house dressed as work men. They were apparently surprised to find someone at our house and tried to explain that they were sent there to do some work. When asked whose name was on their work order they said they didn't have a name just an address and phone number. They were then evasive when asked more questions before they finally left. I have no idea what this was about but have my suspicions and wanted to pass this along to Patch readers.
CC May 31, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Hey Bob, Thanks for posting this! The Patch also has a Facebook page. You may want to put this there, too. Again, thank you!
Jaxxon June 01, 2012 at 05:02 AM
I might also report this to the Borough Police as well as the Pville Town Watch (https://www.facebook.com/PvilleTownWatch) so it's at least on their proverbial radars. They both need to know there are people likely casing houses. Thanks for the heads-up.
Bob June 01, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Jaxxon and CC, Thanks for the info about the Facebook page. I'll try to get something up there. We did call the police (Schuylkill Township) so they are aware of it. Hopefully, they share info with the Phoenixville Police.

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