Vandals damage middle school




Vandals broke this window in a classroom door and caused other damage at Brundrett Middle School overnight Saturday, June 18. Three teenagers have been arrested.

Vandals broke this window in a classroom door and caused other damage at Brundrett Middle School overnight Saturday, June 18. Three teenagers have been arrested.

Three juvenile suspects who allegedly broke into and vandalized Brundrett Middle School overnight Saturday, June 18, will be prosecuted in juvenile court.

Port Aransas Police Department Detective Joey Rivas said the three boys — two 14-year-olds and one 15-year-old — were released to their parents after being identified from security camera footage at the school. The youths were visiting with their parents from the Dallas – Fort Worth area, but they will be locally prosecuted for the burglary and vandalism in Nueces County, he said.

School Principal James Garrett said the suspects apparently used a rock to break the glass of a side door to the school to gain entrance. Once inside, they marked identical graffiti containing expletives on a desktop and on a blackboard, and they sprayed a fire extinguisher in two classrooms.

“It appears they didn’t steal anything,” Garrett said. “I really didn’t understand the graffiti. It didn’t make any sense.”

Garrett noted that the police identified the youths, who came from short-term rentals across the street from the school, within 24 hours after the Port Aransas Independent School District posted about the break-in on its Facebook page. The post went “viral,” and the community assisted in the identification of the youths whose faces were clearly captured by the cameras, he said.

A teacher passing the school on Sunday morning saw a fire extinguisher on the lawn and reported the observation to him, Garrett said. The school district’s technician made the camera footage available so the culprits could be identified quickly, he added.

“We have a great team working together,” Garrett said. “I’m very happy with the way things turned out.”

Garrett said an estimate for the damage is not yet available, and it cannot be cleaned up until that occurs. He noted that the break-in is the first such incident to occur in local schools since he joined the staff 10 years ago.

PAISD Superintendent Sharon McKinney praised the community for helping identify the teenagers who made “poor choices,” and she expressed relief that the damage was not much worse.

“I’m always distressed when things like this happen, but I am very grateful to the community for its support and help,” McKinney said.

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