CHESTERFIELD, VA—A dozen teens and one adult are facing felony charges after spray-painting a makeshift memorial in what they say was a way to cope with the death of a close friend.
The group is facing charges after spray-painting inside the Otterdale Tunnel in the Hampton Park neighborhood, but now they're circulating an online petition in an attempt to put the situation behind them.
17-year-old Mcallister "Cal" Reilly took his own life just days before graduation at Cosby High School, and following the tragic death, friends and loved ones looked to the pedestrian tunnel.
"I guess we knew we were doing something wrong, but that wasn't the concern on our minds, we were just really distraught," said Tyler Coser, one of Reilly's friends.
Tyler Cosner says the spray-painted tunnel became their canvass for messages like "Remember Cal, beloved friend" and "alone we may be lost, but together we stand tall."
Cosner is one of the thirteen accused, and now he's helping to circulate an online petition asking The Hampton Park Homeowner's Association to reconsider charges already filed and spare anyone else.
The HOA declined 8News' request for an interview, but issued a statement saying "a passerby called the Police during the initial interaction between the accused vandals and law enforcement. No member of the Board or Staff was involved."
The board also says it's asked for a non-criminal punishment for the group.
"We just want to move past this event," said Cosner.
Chesterfield County Police say they're not aware of any other charges stemming from this case. The Commonwealth's Attorney's office said it's too early to discuss what's happening with the case.
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