Police release names of some charged in Sauquoit Senior prank vandalism
SAUQUOIT, N.Y. (WKTV) - The New Hartford Police say they have charged 19 individuals in connection to a senior prank that went too far at Sauquoit Valley High School. On June 3, the police department was called in to help investigate after school officials said that several persons entered the school unlawfully and caused a large amount of damage to the schools property. Over the course of a two-week investigation, police said it was discovered that roughly 50 students of the High School senior class, along with past graduates, met at the Town of Paris Park on the evening of June 2 for a party and to execute a senior prank on the school. While at the Town of Paris Park, police say it was stated that several students were dressed in dark clothing and that most were wearing some type of mask or covering over their faces to hide their identity. Police said students were also reported to be in possession of spray paint, super glue, caulk, and large amounts of red duct tape. After congregating at the park, police said at least 30 students walked to the Sauquoit high school to complete the senior prank. Once at the school, police said that some students stood outside the building either helping or watching other students place duct tape on the schools bus garage and placing hay bales in front of the schools main entrance. Other students then entered the school building through a door that had been disabled earlier that day by members of the legion baseball team. While inside the school, police said that several students placed duct tape across stairwells, walls, display cases, and other parts of the building. Students also spray painted at least 19 lockers and 11 sky lights. Police said there were 18 door locks, 10 light switches, and one water fountain filled with super glue rendering all of them inoperable, along with two exterior surveillance cameras that were damaged from being shot out with a paintball gun. Officials said that a total cost of the damages caused by the students inside the school amounts to $23,813.73. Authorities said that after the initial incident was complete, it was found that four other individuals entered the school building at about 2:30 a.m. and stole at least three LCD computer projectors valued at $1,484.97 from the Technology Department. At this time, as a result of the investigation there have been 15 students and four former students identified and charged by the New Hartford Police Department. All parties were processed and arraigned in the Town of New Hartford Court and were either released on their own recognizance or placed under bail pending a future court date. Fifteen of the identified students and former students were charged with third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief, and criminal tampering. Two other students were charged with criminal tampering and four individuals involved in the second burglary were charged with third-degree burglary and fourth-degree grand larceny. The police have released the names of four of the individuals involved but say the names of the others who have been charged will not be released because they qualify for youthful offender status. Those four individuals are: Michael Mahl, 21, of Chadwicks, charged with two counts of third-degree burglary, one count of second-degree criminal mischief, one count of fourth-degree grand larceny, and one count of criminal tampering Zachary R. Thomas, 19, of Sauquoit has been charged with one count of criminal tampering Robert P. Dote, 19, of Chadwicks has been charged with two counts of third-degree burglary, one count of second-degree criminal mischief, one count of fourth-degree grand larceny and one count of criminal tampering. Jose R. Santini, 19, of Chadwicks has been charged with one count of third-degree burglary and one count of fourth-degree grand larceny. Luis A. Rosado, 22, of Chadwicks has been charged with one count of third-degree burglary, one count of second-degree criminal mischief and one count of criminal tampering.