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Iowa Teenagers Charged with Felonies in Tree Case

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MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — Mason City police have charged two teenage boys with felonies for stripping the bark off a tree near an elementary school.

The Mason City Globe Gazette reports a 13-year-old teenager and his 14-year-old stepbrother were charged with second-degree criminal mischief.

Police say the incident occurred Aug. 5 near Roosevelt Elementary. They say 4-5 feet of bark was stripped all the way around the trunk and the tree will likely die.

Police Sgt. Dave Houser says charges were based on the dollar amount to remove and replace the tree.

The mother of one of the boys says the punishment is too extreme, even if the charge drops off his criminal record once he turns 18.

The Associated Press typically doesn’t identify minors charged with crimes.

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