Four suspects have been arrested and charged after Greece Police say they planned to attack a Muslim community near Binghamton. Our news partner, News10NBC says parents and grandparents of the suspects say they're at a loss right now. They don't know what to do and no one is telling them what's happening.
Four suspects have been arrested and charged after Greece Police say they planned to attack a Muslim community near Binghamton.
Our news partner, News10NBC investigated to see what the suspects' parents and grandparents must be thinking.
News10NBC says they're at a loss right now. They don't know what to do and no one is telling them what's happening.
When News10NBC walked up to the address listed for 20-year-old Brian Colaneri of Gates, his mother answered the door.
April Colaneri, Brian Colaneri's mother: "Brian is in jail right now because they took him on Friday night and they said they'd give him back in three hours. He was going in for questioning. I've been trying to get a hold of anybody in the office, the Monroe County Jail, anybody to help him."
April Colaneri said her son graduated from a BOCES program in Gates.
She was sobbing as she looked for a picture of her son. She knew the names of the other defendants.
Colaneri: "They've been known to play act, alright?
"Like Dungeons and Dragons and things. So one of the guys says 'the president' and another one said 'bombing,' like build a bomb. And this is why the FBI took my son. His hearing is on Wednesday and I'm just really upset. I can't believe it happened. He's never been in trouble before. He's 20 years old. I don't know what to do. I've never heard of this happening or ever thought it was going to happen."
News10NBC: "He's accused of attempting to build bombs."
Colaneri: "He had firecrackers and an old electrical box that was down in the cellar. That's all he had."
Brian Colaneri was in the Boy Scouts and that's a link between three of the four suspects.
Vincent Vetromile earned his Eagle Scout rank in 2017.
News10NBC went to his house in Greece, but no one answered the door.
Ron Gerth is a neighbor and said he saw agents raiding the house late Friday night.
News10NBC: "This is one of the court documents for Vincent..."
Ron Gerth, neighbor: "I know Vinnie."
News10NBC: "You know Vinnie?"
Gerth: "Yes. He's a nice boy. He went to Arcadia High School, and when he was very young, he used to come over and rake my yard."
News10NBC: "He's now accused of building some improvised explosive devices to try to blow up a building in the Hamlet of Islamberg down near Binghamton."
Gerth: "Wow. I'm surprised to hear that. I would not have known that. He is a nice, polite boy."
Vetromile became an Eagle Scout at the same time as Andrew Crysel. Crysel graduated from Gananda and lives with his grandfather in East Rochester.
News10NBC went to his address.
Wayne Crysel, Andrew Crysel's grandfather: "Right now, Berkeley there is no comment."
Crysel's grandfather did tell News10NBC that his lawyer is trying to reduce Andrew Crysel's bail.
Scout Executive Stephen T. Hoitt from Boy Scouts of America issued the following statement Tuesday regarding the investigation:
"We are shocked and saddened to learn of allegations related to local youth at Greece Odyssey High School, who were also former members of our program. The alleged actions are in strong contrast to the values we teach in Scouting. Locally, over a quarter of the youth who live in our area go through one of our Scouting programs and it is always sad to see when our alumni appear in the news for negative reasons."
Tuesday evening, Scout Executive Stephen T. Hoitt released an additional statement saying, "Upon learning of these reports we took immediate action to prohibit these individuals from any future participation in the Boy Scouts of America."