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Ramapo Tribe Leader Charged In Mahwah Club Camera Vandalism

INSET: Steven D. Smith, Dwaine Perry
INSET: Steven D. Smith, Dwaine Perry Photo Credit: IMAGES: Courtesy MAHWAH PD

MAHWAH, N.J. -- The chief of the Ramapo Lenape tribe was accused of being an accomplice to a Virginia man who police said vandalized a surveillance camera at the Ramapo Hunt and Polo Club.

Detectives targeted Steven D. Smith, 29, of Blacksburg after he caused more than $5,000 worth of damage by “turning the lens in an attempt to change the angle of the camera and the available view” on May 12, Police Chief James N. Batelli told Daily Voice.

Batelli said they identified Smith thanks to cameras located on a bridge owned by the club, which has been involved in an ongoing dispute with the tribe.

The cameras also showed Smith driven to the scene by 69-year-old Dwaine Perry of Hillburn, the chief said.

“This information was turned over to representatives of the Ramapo Homeowners Association and they completed the proper paperwork to file a civilian complaint charging both Steven D. Smith and Dwaine C. Perry with one count of criminal mischief,” Batelli said.

Municipal Court Judge Dennis Harraka then found probable cause to issue the complaint and scheduled a July 13 court date, he said.

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