Three thousand dollars. That’s what it could possibly cost you if you decide to trick off a bench and you find yourself on the wrong end of Judge Judy’s finger. Thom Randall of the Adirondack Journal put together a piece describing a legal dispute which pitted two local skateboarders against a Lake George business owner was featured in a Tuesday Sept. 11 episode of the Judge Judy show. But THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS? Come on!
To make a long story short Frankie Cavone of Lake George, a skateboarder who has been working for years to establish a local skateboard park, and Chris Brauser of Warrensburg, appeared in a Judge Judy showdown in which Gerald Bongiorno, owner of the Hawaiian Shaved Ice kiosk in the Village Mall, sought nearly $3,000 in compensation from Cavone and Brauser for alleged vandilism…and won.
On March 18, Cavone and Brauser were skateboarding at the lakeside entrance to the mall. Shortly after they found what appeared to be an old beat up picnic table, and they decided to place it against the mall’s steps to use it as a skate ramp. Cavone videotaped some of the skateboarding for a graphics project and posted it on YouTube. A Lake George High School graduate, Cavone is a student at Hudson Valley Community College, concentrating in video production and broadcasting.
The problem is, the picnic table wasn’t exactly not in use anymore, it actually belonged to the business owner Bongiorno, so he took it to the Lake George Town Court in which he sued for several hundred dollars in damages to said picnic table.
Bongiorno then contacted the Judge Judy Show producers, and they decided to take on the case, transferring it from town court.
Cavone said that during the taping of the episode, he mentioned his work to establish the Lake George Skateboard Park, now nearing construction in the Charles Wood Park.
As can be expected from the ever pleasant Judge Judy, she was less than friendly to the two skateboarders, and awarding Bongiorno $2,795 for a new picnic table, and to compensate him for vandalism that Cavone said wasn’t at all related to the incident. They said that his original claim of several hundred dollars in town court got inflated to $2,795 for television.
Bongiorno declined to comment when called this week regarding the case. The twist is this, which would probably not hold up in real court, Judge Judy said they were responsible because they might know the skaters who caused the other vandalism on the property.
On the show, Bongiorno pledged to donate his court award to the Lake George Skateboard Park development fund. As of yet contacted members of the skateboard park development committee said they hadn’t yet seen such a donation materialize.
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