Authorities say 19 current and former students of an Oneida County high school have been charged after a senior prank resulted in more than $20,000 damage to school property on June 2.
Police in the Oneida County town of New Hartford tell local media outlets that they were called in to investigate when officials at Sauquoit Valley High School in the neighboring town of Paris reported the damage.Police say an investigation found that approximately 50 senior students, along with past graduates, met at the Town of Paris Park for a party and to execute a senior prank. The students allegedly dressed in dark clothing and wore masks to hide their identity and possessed spray paint, super glue, caulk, and large amounts of red duct tape. Police say least 30 students walked to the Sauquoit High School to carry out the senior prank. Some students remained outside of the building either helping or watching as others placed duct tape on the schools bus garage and placed hay bales in front of the school??s main entrance.
School officials say 15 students broke into the school through a door that had been disabled earlier that day by members of the legion baseball team.Inside the school, police say students placed duct tape across stairwells, walls, display cases, and other parts of the building. Students spray painted at least 19 lockers and 11 sky lights. They allegedly filled 18 door locks, 10 light switches, and 1 water fountain filled with super glue, making them inoperable. Two outdoor surveillance cameras were damaged from being shot out with a paintball gun.
Authorities say the students caused nearly $24,000 in damage.Police say afterward, around 2:30 a.m., four former students entered the building and stole computer projectors valued at $1,484.97.All student suspects were processed and arraigned in the Town of New Hartford Court. They were either released on their own recognizance or placed under bail pending a future court date. 15 of the students and former students were charged with felony burglary, felony criminal mischief, and misdemeanor criminal tampering. Two other students were charged with criminal tampering. The four former students involved in the second burglary were charged with burglary, and felony grand larceny.Police have identified some of the students arrested as: Michael Mahl, 21, from Chadwicks; Zachary R. Thomas, 19, from Sauquoit; Robert P. Dote, 19, from Chadwicks; Jose R. Santini, 19, from Chadwicks; and Luis A. Rosado, 22, Chadwicks.