February 16, 2006

Five Charged In High School Vandalism

Students facing court action

Five Dallas High School students were charged Wednesday with vandalizing Lake-Lehman High School’s football field and track.

The vandalism occurred on November 3, the night before the Dallas-Lake-Lehman football game.
The students were accused of dousing the $1.2 million field and track with blue paint.

Lake-Lehman officials have said the damages to the field could cost as much as $70,000 to fix, but there is no figure listed in the police affidavit regarding the damage.

Attorney Patrick M. Rogan, who is representing one of the students, said the school district has dramatically exaggerated the damage costs.

“Seventy thousand dollars is nothing less than preposterous and I think the whole affair is misguided,” Rogan said. “There’s something really wrong when adults say there is an exorbitant amount of damages when all reasonable people know that is not true.”

“If someone puts paint on my sidewalk, then I’m not going to say you owe me $300,000 for the house,” he said. “They want to tear it up and replace it. You’re talking about some paint on a track.”
Rogan said the students “are by all accounts, without exception, good kids” who “probably got a little too exuberant” with a prank. Rogan said such pranks have gone on for years.

“I think it’s a shame that they would think this rises to criminal activity,” said Rogan.

The Times Leader, February 16, 2006