By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV

SALEM (CBS) – Lee Wolf and his wife were walking home from work just after midnight Wednesday morning when they heard what Lee describes as “just a nice loud crack.”

Someone had thrown a cinder block off the roof of Salem’s historic Hawthorne Hotel. Lee went in to tell managers, while his wife stayed outside.

“She actually saw two kids running across one of the lower levels of the roof and climbing down,” Wolf explains.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports

The hotel’s general manager thinks the duo made their way to the roof by climbing up the fire escape.

The cinder block landed right in the middle of the road. It was just a matter of good luck and even better timing that no one was stopped at the red light in front of the hotel when the cinder block fell.

“Had that cinder block hit somebody, it could have been fatal,” says Salem Police Lieutenant Kate Stephens.

Thanks in part to the description of the suspects offered by the Wolfs, police almost immediately spotted them on surveillance cameras posted all over town.

“The officers in the control room were able to immediately zoom in on the suspects as they fled the scene,” said Lt. Stephens. “We have a large area of the downtown that’s covered through cameras that we monitor in the control room, so we were able to follow them and their escape route.”

When 19-year-old Miles Hartfelder and 18-year-old Veronica Dineen, both from Salem, were arrested, police say they confessed immediately and said they were running away because they were scared. They have both been charged with disorderly conduct and ordered to stay away from the Hawthorne Hotel.

The facility’s general manager, Juli Lederhaus, remains dumbfounded.

“I don’t understand people who would endanger someone else. I just, i don’t understand it. It makes no sense to me.”

  1. Joe says:

    I did a lot of stupid moronic things in my youth such as driving a 130 mph on more than one occasion. I could have killed someone and I feel very lucky I didn’t. I knew the danger to myself but truly never thought I could hurt anyone else. If I crashed then I would die. I justified it by doing it late at night as to not endanger anyone else. Well, we all know if something goes wrong you can’t control anything at that speed.

    I just can’t understand the thought process before throwing a 25lb cinder block off a roof onto a street or sidewalk where people walk and drive. The complete lack of respect for other peoples safety is mind bogging. I don’t think these kids should do jail time. They should be sentenced to 200 hours of community service to be completed at either the Dana farber or a facility that deals with severe brain injury and people who are paralyzed. We need more shock and awe rehabilitation with our youth.let them see what they could have done if a person got hit and became brain dead.

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