Chiles High student arrested for vandalizing vehicles on campus

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By: Erin Lisch
May 18, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Law enforcement forced to step in after more controversy at Chiles High School.

Leon County Sheriff’s Office says a 14-year-old student was arrested after being accused of vandalizing 5 cars.

Witnesses tell law enforcement that the student damaged the car after being upset over the confederate flags that were waved in the school's parking lot.

The 14-year-old boy is facing five counts of felony criminal mischief and school disciplinary actions.

When it comes to the controversy of the confederate flag this week, Superintendent Rocky Hanna said, "Unfortunately from time to time this flag, and this issue raises its ugly head. We as a public school system having to deal with it."

The flags no longer on campus, but the vehicles that displayed them before are now damaged according to law enforcement

Chiles High student Kiley Bernick said, "I think it was way over the line."

Student Aly Freeland said, "Vandalizing property of other people is not the way to do it."

Student Will Howell said, "It was very wrong for people to do that, they had no right at all. They should be expelled, arrested, fined, pay for the paint jobs."

The damage to each car is estimated at more than $1,000. The student allegedly scratched the vehicles with a screwdriver.

Students say this has gone too far.

"I wouldn't try to park my car back here anymore, if that happened once it could probably happen again," said Freeland.

Superintendent Hanna says parents need to remind students, enough is enough.

"We're all American citizens, were all Leon County students, we're all Chiles High students, we're all Timberwolves, enough of this nonsense," said Superintendent Hanna.

A series of escalating events from petitions, social media threats, and now vandalism.

Many hoping this is the end, as the school year comes to a close.

The owners of those vehicles tell WCTV they never wanted this to happen. They say they were the ones being taunted and the flag they were waving said 'heritage not hate'.

Hanna reiterated the reason the flags aren't allowed on campus is because they're causing a distraction.

The Sheriff's Office doesn't believe any more arrests will be made.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
May 18, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A 14-year-old student at Chiles High School faces five counts of felony criminal mischief after being arrested Thursday.

The student is accused of keying five trucks in the campus parking lot.

Lt. Grady Jordan with the Leon County Sheriff's Office says witnesses told deputies the suspect keyed the trucks because the student was mad about earlier incidents this week involving the Confederate flag.

On Tuesday, a student was filmed waving a Confederate flag from the back of a truck in the parking lot on campus.

After Tuesday's events, Chiles High School Principal Joe Burgess said the flags were no longer allowed on campus. Some students agreed with the decision, saying things did get out of hand.

"If someone's waving a flag at someone and using it as an offensive symbol, that's when it does become a problem, " said senior Chandler Smith.

Petitions for and against the display of the flag were posted online and were signed by hundreds on either side.

Tuesday night, Leon County Schools alerted parents and students that a threat towards Chiles High School had been made on social media.

There were no reported incidents, and the Leon County Sheriff's Office determined the threat was unsubstantiated.

Administrators told WCTV reporters they did not know if the threat was linked to the tension over confederate flags.



 
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