So I'm a night owl. It was 3:00am, I was about to go to bed, but decided to walk down and check the mail instead. I live on a remote dirt road and the mailboxes are all in a row at the end of my road, quite a ways down. I've gone down to the mailbox many times at weird hours of the night, so I just grabbed my flashlight and headed down. The only streetlight is at the next road, near the mailboxes, my dirt road is totally dark. I get to the mailboxes and as I approach I see two of them off the stand and laying in the middle of the road. In just a few seconds, I see those mailboxes, and glance up and see that mine is still there, but the door is off and I have tons of mail sitting there (haven't walked down in a couple of days). I realize someone vandalized them and as I approach I hear a truck coming down my road fast, and I can hear several guy's voices loud and boisterous. I'm not sure what through my head, if it was fear, intuition, common sense or what, but I jumped and hid behind the rock wall JUST behind the row of mailboxes. I guess it was mainly fear, because NO ONE is on my road at 3:00am and I could just tell it was trouble, and I'm alone and unarmed. So I dive behind the rock wall, losing one of my flip flops in the process and hide. Not a great hiding spot by the way, I could not have been more obvious, ducking behind a one foot high wall. The truck pulls right up to the mailboxes and stops in the middle of the road. I immediately realized it was whoever just vandalized the boxes coming back. It was four young guys, and three of them jump out of the truck and they all have some sort of bats, 2 x4's, etc. I have to admit I was scared. Even though I knew what they were doing, I thought, crap, they're going to see me, then what? I don't know if they're just kids who would be scared off, or if they'd do something to me. So I'm crouched down, literally not even 4 feet from the boxes (I had shut my flashlight off). The kids start bashing the mailboxes, I mean BAD. Beating the crap out of them, shattering them, crushing them, pieces are flying at landing in my hair and hitting my face. Somehow they were so absorbed in what they were doing that they miraculously didn't see me. They were there for at least a several minutes, being sure to thoroughly destroy every single mailbox. The driver in the truck is saying, "Okay, that's good, get in!" and the other three are saying "No, get that one dude!" and "Aw, we're getting these ones good", etc. FINALLY they are satisfied with their destruction and pull off. I jumped up immediately. If they looked back at all they would have seen me RIGHT there. They were courteous enough to have license plate lights, so I could clearly see the plate. I ran all the way back up my road, repeating the plate # over and over, even stopping briefly to write it in the sand, and called the police. Gave them the description of the truck, the plate # and he said that an officer was on the way. Then while still on the phone with me an officer called in and said she had pulled them over. Just up the road from my boxes, there's a couple with chickens and they sell eggs out of a nice little fridge that they keep at the side of the road. Apparently they bashed the heck out of that too, destroying it. So now that I know they've been stopped, I walked back down to the mailboxes to pick up my mail which was scattered in the road. It was unbelievable. Mail was everywhere, pieces of mailboxes everywhere, mangled. I walked around with my flashlight gathering my mail and all my neighbors mail and putting in a bag. Then I moved all the boxes and big pieces out of the road. There were probably 10 mailboxes on the stand and not a single one was left intact. When I got back I called the station to see if they were planning on coming out for a statement (I had given my name and address when I called the first time). The officer who pulled them over said she wasn't coming out tonight because she figured I'd be sleeping (yeah right!). So she filled me in, said it was three 18 year olds and a 14 year old. This is a very small town, everyone knows everyone (except for me because I'm new to this town). So she explains that it's not "the usual kids", and it's kids who have never been in trouble before. Apparently their parents were called and allowed to pick them up. She said the parents were so livid that she thinks the kids did not want to go home. Then she says she has a question that she wants me to sleep on, and that she's going to ask this question to the other victims (my neighbors) as well. She says the kids are coming out in the morning to replace the mailboxes. She wants to know if they replace the mailboxes, is that good enough instead of pressing charges, since they have no history of trouble. Or, if that's not good enough, they can face a judge and possibly felony charges since it's U.S. Government property. I'm thinking I definitely want them to replace the darn boxes, of course. But instead of going to court and having this on their record? I'm honestly not sure how I feel about that. On one hand I remember being a kid, although I never vandalized anything. She says they were all very scared. So maybe they learned their lesson. On the other hand, if they get off that easy, then what? I mean, that's not a lot of accountability just replacing boxes. Maybe for the 14 year old, but what about the other three who are 18? I don't know... she wants me to call the station tomorrow and let her know. All I know is it was pretty darn scary witnessing it from just a few feet away; I still can't believe they didn't see me. I know it sounds petty, just vandalizing mailboxes, but when you got four guys in a truck with bats and 2 x 4's at 3:00am a couple feet away, destroying everything, and I'm "hiding" in plain sight, alone, it's scary. I didn't know who they were, or what they might be capable of. Anyway, now it's after five and I really need sleep. I'd love some input on what you guys think: replacing the boxes good enough? Or press for court/legal trouble that will give them a record? PS: As an afterthought, now that I know they were just kids, wouldn't it have been hysterical if I just stood up? Would have probably scared the living daylight out of them.