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Wyckoff police chief: Men who chopped homeowner’s tree “beyond stupid”

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox today called the co-owners of a pool company and two assistants who helped them cut down the tree and heave heavy logs at the car of an Oakland customer who disputed a bill “beyond stupid.”

“They caused a significant amount of damage, they used a chainsaw at 11 o’clock at night, and to think that between these four men, not a single one of them suggested to the others that this might not be a good idea over a disputed $300 bill defies all common sense,” the chief said.

The men became immediate suspects after the Burma Road homeowner told  Detective Sgt. Joseph Soto she’d had a “heated” argument with 21-year-old Matthew B. Usherenko, one of the owners of Tyger Pools in Oakland, on Nov. 28, Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox said today.

Usherenko showed up at her house a short time later, then left empty-handed after another argument over the $300 charge, the chief said.

By Saturday, Soto — with help from Oakland police — had Usherenko and company co-owner Jonathan M. Capparelli, 22, in custody, along with two friends they enlisted to help with the vandalism, Fox said.

They were identified as Christopher R. Turton, 22, and 18-year-old Sebastian J. Wolff.

Capparelli and Usherenko turned themselves in and “provided a statement regarding the involvement of everyone in the crime,” Fox said.

“The men allegedly conspired together to seek revenge of the unpaid pool bill, with a plan that one of them would cut down the tree in the front yard, while the others would throw large logs at the car,” the chief said.

The three logs, weighing 60 pounds each, “were not from the tree that was cut down but were brought with them for the purpose they intended,” he added.

All four were released without bail pending court hearings on charges of criminal mischief, Fox said.

The homeowner called police just after 11 p.m. the night of the incident, saying she head a chainsaw running before seeing the 25-foot tree down.

The logs were tossed at her 2009 Volkswagen Jetta, one through the rear window and the other at her rear taillights, smashing them, Fox said, putting the total damage at $5,500.

“Their actions are beyond stupid,” the chief said.

TREE PHOTOS/MUGSHOTS: Wyckoff PD
TOP: Matthew B. Usherenko (l.), Jonathan M. Capparelli
BOTTOM: Christopher R. Turton (l.), Sebastian J. Wolff

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