STATEN ISLAND — A 14-year-old boy has admitted to vandalizing Rep. Michael Grimm’s campaign headquarters, police said Tuesday — putting an end to a bizarre episode, which Grimm had claimed was a “politically motivated” crime.
Police said the teen, who is being treated as a juvenile, admitted to an adult that he was the one who broke the windows at Grimm’s New Dorp campaign headquarters Saturday night.
Grimm had alleged the attack was “politically motivated” and had said those responsible had also tampered with and wiped a campaign server containing sensitive information, including confidential campaign files and poll data.
But police sources told DNAinfo.com New York that they found no evidence that any servers or hard drives had been touched.
In a statement, Grimm said he was "relieved" to know the vandalism was not politically-motivated — and defended jumping to a false conclusion.
"At the time, when we saw three large window panes broken, following a consistent pattern of lawn sign thefts and after several locations with Grimm signs and posters were barraged with eggs, it was not hard to come to any other conclusion," he said in a statement, explaining that, "In addition to that, the gentleman in charge of operating the main computer system, found the computer not functioning and a new operating system installed.
"Under the circumstances, it could very easily lead one to believe that this was all connected, which is why we contacted the NYPD," he added. It's possible a volunteer could have inadvertently wiped out the server, he said.
Grimm, whose campaign finances have been under federal investigation, is facing a tough battle for re-election against Democratic challenger Mark Murphy, whose spokesman released a statement Sunday condemning the incident.
The teen, whose identity was not released, is expected to be charged with criminal mischief, police said.