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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Minors detained in vandalism

Friday, August 20, 2004

Police have detained two minors and may file charges against more suspects in the vandalism of the portable classroom on the Meridian Elementary campus.

In mid-July at least two people broke into the classroom, a modular structure behind the school, and caused substantial damage to the building and equipment within. Shelves were overturned, sinks were plugged, water left running and the majority of the computer monitors in the building were smashed in, among other offenses.

Detective Marty Beasley of the Brazil City Police Department said the two suspects, aged 14 and 16, were students of the Clay Community School Corporation.

"They never gave a reason for doing it," Beasley said. "Even in the courtroom they didn't give any motivation."

As juveniles, the two were charged with delinquency and turned over to the Department of Corrections for placement in a juvenile detention facility. They were also ordered to pay restitution, a figure which has been estimated to be $40,000 to $50,000. Had they been adults, the charges could have been much more serious counts of criminal mischief and burglary.

Beasley said the two were caught after an anonymous source provided Captain Andy Whittington with names of people who might have been involved. In total, four people were named, though the source could only cite one last name.

"After that I just went down the chain," Beasley said. "I talked to one kid who gave me some information, then another... I talked to more and more kids."

Beasley said he interviewed approximately 12 people altogether.

The two who were apprehended, he said, admitted to the offense "right off the bat" and helped the police department further its investigation.

"They were really helpful," he said.

As of Wednesday the classroom was being used for teachers to consult with parents.

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