Today’s news:

Astoria man vandalized seat, window on N train: Brown

An 18−year−old Astoria man was arrested last week after a subway rider with a camera snapped a photo of him allegedly scratching the seat of an N train and defacing its window, the Queens district attorney said.

Andrew Morello, of 48−04 20th Ave. in Astoria, was arraigned Friday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Robert Raciti on charges of criminal mischief, making graffiti and resisting arrest, Queens DA Richard Brown said. He was scheduled to return to court this week, the DA said.

The teen allegedly admitted to police that he scratched the seat of the train car with a metal tip instrument, Brown said. He also is alleged to have admitted that he scratched his tag — DECC — onto the window of the train with the same instrument, the DA said.

Morello was allegedly caught defacing the subway on a fellow passenger’s cell phone camera, Brown said.

The defendant is accused of flailing his arms in an attempt to prevent police officers from handcuffing him, the DA said.

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D−Astoria), a staunch opponent of graffiti vandalism, called on the DA to give the defendant mandatory jail time.

“If this guy wants to scribble on walls and windows, he will have plenty of time to practice in his cell at Rikers Island,” Vallone said.

“People are sick and tired of graffiti, and when they act to protect their neighborhood, they shouldn’t be threatened,” he said. “That’s why we will be in court to ensure that the judge realizes the seriousness of this matter.”

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at nduke@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

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