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Fairport man faces trial in 'Paternoville' sign theft | Crime

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Fairport man faces trial in 'Paternoville' sign theft
Fairport man faces trial in 'Paternoville' sign theft

A Fairport man is under arrest after police say he drove his car through the gates of Beaver Stadium at Penn State and stole a famous sign. Now the 22-year-old is facing felony charges.

Police say Charles Ciraolo stole the sign back in February. Police say he caused thousands of dollars in damage.

The sign was a “Paternoville” sign. “Paternoville” is the area where students camp out, sometimes for days, to get tickets to Penn State games. It’s named after former legendary head coach Joe Paterno.

WHTK radio personality, John DiTullio, said, “Over the last few months that ground has almost become to a degree sacred, at least to the students and to a degree for alumni. So for anyone, student, resident, anybody to damage that sign or to do anything to his statue to me, people are not going to be pleased or happy.”

DiTullio graduated from Penn State in 1988. He says “Paternoville” started in 2005, when students started camping out to make sure they got tickets to the big games. Since then it’s grown and grown.

DiTullio said, “It's huge. It's become, I mean the game is biggest thing, but the second biggest thing is actually “Paternoville”, if you can actually get a tent there and camp out. Kids start camping out there on Thursdays. It's become a huge deal for the students, for alumni to walk through there.”

This is what it’s all about for Penn State fans. But Penn State Police say on February 28, 22-year-old Charles Ciarolo of Fairport drove to campus and stole a Paternoville sign. Pictures from a surveillance camera show the dark-colored car trying to drive through the gate at Beaver Stadium. Police say the driver went over grass and knocked down two signs including that “Paternoville” sign. Police say the driver took the “Paternoville” sign from the scene.

DiTullio said, “You get some knuckle head driving in through there and damaging Paternoville, or anything to do with Joe Paterno. It’s not going to be looked upon as funny and cute.”

Police traced the car back to this home in Fairport and arrested Ciarolo. He is facing a number of charges including felony counts of burglary and criminal mischief.

DiTullio says this senseless act is an insult to Penn State and the late Joe Paterno who died in January after battling lung cancer.

DiTullio said, “He was like our grandfather, even when we moved on, I've been out of school more than 20 years, but you still look at Joe as your grandfather.”

Police say when they came to arrest Ciarolo they found him with the sign and he admitted to driving the car. Police say the damage totaled $23,000.


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