LAX COURTHOUSE — A Venice man plead no contest Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of vandalism in connection with nails thrown into driveways outside of flight schools at Santa Monica Airport.

Jeremiah Kean Mayman, 31, will complete 25 days of community service as a result of his plea, which is neither an admission of guilt nor claim of innocence, said his attorney Steve Sitkoff.

“Basically, it’s not admitting guilt, but entering into an agreement because he feels it’s in his best interest,” Sitkoff said.

Kean Mayman will check back in with the court on March 19, 2013 for a progress report and then again six months after that.

If everything looks good, the charges will be dismissed entirely, Sitkoff said.

“He’s a nice young man with a lot going for him,” Sitkoff said.

Kean Mayman was arrested on May 31 on suspicion of felony vandalism.

A spokesman for the Santa Monica Police Department said that a department employee witnessed him allegedly throwing 1.5-inch roofing nails into driveways as he rode by flight schools on an 18-speed bicycle.

His bail was set at $20,000, and he posted soon after.

The charge was knocked down to a misdemeanor, and the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office took over prosecution of the case.

The conclusion of the case has been a long time coming.

Though Kean Mayman was arrested at the end of May, he was not arraigned until this week. At least two other dates set for his arraignment came and went in the interim.

The story began in April when nails were first reported in a driveway in the airport. Employees had found nails twice before, but had dismissed it as an accident.

Nails appeared again on May 8, May 10 and May 18 in the driveways at Justice Aviation, American Flyers and Krueger Aviation. There was a lull until May 31, when Kean Mayman was arrested.

All told, between 600 and 700 nails were found over the course of the six incidents. Only one customer at Krueger Aviation discovered a flat tire.

The nails coincided with a time in which flight schools were in the public spotlight.

Student pilots perform repetitive flights around the airport over densely-populated neighborhoods, which cause residents of Santa Monica, Mar Vista and West Los Angeles to worry about the pollution they create and the possibility of a crash.

Those fears had been fed by a plane crash in August 2011 and, more recently, a plane that went down in West Los Angeles on its way back to SMO in August 2012.

The small planes used by the flight schools also burn fuel laced with lead, which residents object to.

 

ashley@smdp.com

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