A Queens lawmaker is thanking NY1 News for helping police track down a teenager accused of vandalizing a new playground.
Prosecutors say Allan Swafford, 17, used a construction excavator to destroy a playground in Far Rockaway that was set to open in June.
They also say Swafford inscribed his name in wet cement at the site.
NY1 first ran a story on the damage last Tuesday, and Councilman James Sanders says that was the key to finding the teen.
"We have to thank reporter Ruschell Boone for covering this story – she led to the arrest of the young person," Sanders said. "Someone saw the story on NY1, called the appropriate authorities, and gave the name of the suspect."
"I was very happy that they found the person," said Betty Leon of Community Board 14. "The only thing that really has me pretty upset and very sad is that it is a young person."
Swafford is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle, criminal mischief, and burglary.
He faces seven years in prison if convicted.
The damage will cost the city tens of thousands of dollars and could delay the opening of the playground.