2 charged in school vandalism

June 16, 1994|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Sun Staff Writer

State police have arrested two 13-year-olds in connection with extensive vandalism that occurred Sunday at Mechanicsville Elementary School.

One boy is from the Sykesville area and the other from the Finksburg area, police said.

Crews working on an almost $4 million reconstruction and expansion project at the school on Route 32 in Gamber arrived for work Monday to find that the contents of a dozen cans of paint and oil had been spread on the walls and floors.

Investigators said a break in the case came late Tuesday, when an education assistant at Westminster East Middle School read in the newspaper about the vandalism and remembered overhearing two boys about three weeks ago bragging about having broken into Mechanicsville Elementary.

The employee advised the East Middle principal, and the students were confronted but denied any involvement, police said.

State police were notified and contacted the parents of the boys, who took them to the Westminster police barracks Tuesday evening.

Tfc. Ronald W. Cullison, a member of the Criminal Investigation Division, questioned the boys and they admitted committing both the Sunday break-in and the earlier one, the trooper said.

Paint-spattered clothing was recovered from the boys' homes, he said.

Police said the boys discovered a rear door unlocked Sunday and entered the gymnasium, where they broke into a construction storage room containing paints and oils.

Officers said the boys tossed 1-gallon cans of paint into the air to see them burst open and splatter the contents over the gym floor.

A 5-gallon container of oil, used for lubrication while cutting and threading steel pipe, was also emptied on the gym floor and soaked into the wood.

Police said the boys poured paint and contact cement over newly installed tiles on the walls and floors of two bathrooms and spray-painted graffiti and vulgarities on the freshly resurfaced walls.

Vernon Schisler, foreman of the Craft Construction Inc. of Reisterstown, described the vandalism as "major league destruction." His brother, Bernard Schisler, owner of the company, offered a $1,000 reward for the apprehension and XTC conviction of the individuals responsible.

Investigators said the boys were released to their parents and will be tried in juvenile court on charges of breaking and entering and vandalism.

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