About a dozen Drew Central High School students are suspected in the Thursday night vandalism of their school, according to 10th Judicial District Prosecutor Thomas Deen.
Sometime Thursday night, the students entered the high school and poured a variety of slippery substances, including what appeared to be condiments, oil, children’s soap bubbles and pickles, on the floors, disrupting Friday classes and causing one woman to slip and fall.
Deen said he does not yet know if the woman was injured in her fall.
The students became suspects Friday after Monticello police learned that University of Arkansas at Monticello campus police had questioned a group of teens as they were returning from the Drew Central campus to their parked vehicles.
After receiving a call Thursday night from someone reporting a group of teens on the Drew Central campus, UAM campus police questioned the students as they returned to their vehicles which were parked on the UAM campus. The security officers got the students’ names and allowed them to leave, not knowing what had just occurred at their high school, according to Deen.
The following morning, Drew Central school officials discovered the vandalism. While nothing was reported missing or broken, school officials had to call in a cleaning crew to help school maintenance clean up the mess while students were moved to the gymnasium, according to Monticello Police Capt. Carlos Garcia.
The students may face burglary, criminal mischief, and impairing the operation of a vital public facility charges. Burglary and impairing the operation of a vital public facility are both Class C felonies punishable by 3 to 10 years in prison. Criminal mischief is a misdemeanor if the damage is less than $1,000. If it is $1,000 or more it is a felony.
Garcia said he has not yet received a damage assessment from the school.
Asked the age of the students, Deen said it is his understanding that the students are 17 and 18 years old. He has not yet decided if he will charge the 17-year-old students as adults. “I will make that decision after reviewing the case file,” Deen said.