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Four Roanoke Rapids High School seniors and a 20-year-old man have been charged in the vandalism which occurred at the historic building and campus early Tuesday morning.

The charges not only reflect the some $8,400 in damages caused by spray-painting parts of the buildings, pouring cooking oil on the hardwood floods and gluing locks but shoplifting counts where the glue was stolen, interim city police Chief Bobby Martin said this evening.

The charges include a felony count of injury to a building against the four students, a count Martin said was lodged after consultation with the Halifax County District Attorney’s Office.

“I originally said there could be felony charges,” Martin said. “After talking with the district attorney’s office we looked at the different crimes committed and determined some would be misdemeanors. As we continued to investigate we determined because of the damage to the buildings they would be charged with a felony due to the amount of the damage done.”

Martin declined comment on whether any of the five arrested and charged throughout the day today made any statements.

He also declined to release mugshots of those charged saying since he has been appointed interim chief it has been his policy to not send them because of time constraints unless there is a wanted person.

Those charged

James Carlisle III, 18, from the Roanoke Rapids area, who faces a felony charge of injury to a building; misdemeanor conspiracy; two counts misdemeanor breaking and entering, and misdemeanor shoplifting and concealment of goods.

He received a $5,000 bond.

 

Matthew Vandam, 18, from the Roanoke Rapids area, who faces a felony charge of injury to a building; three counts misdemeanor conspiracy, and aid and abet shoplifting and concealment of goods.

He received a $5,000 bond.

 

Evan Garner, 18, from the Roanoke Rapids area, who faces a felony charge of injury to a building; misdemeanor conspiracy and misdemeanor breaking and entering.

He received a $5,000 bond.

 

Garrett Tant, 18, from the Roanoke Rapids area, who faces a felony charge of injury to a building; misdemeanor conspiracy; two counts misdemeanor breaking and entering; and misdemeanor shoplifting and concealment of goods.

He received a $5,000 bond.

 

Ryan M. Turner, 20, from the Roanoke Rapids area, who faces three counts of misdemeanor conspiracy.

Martin said in a statement the three counts reflect misdemeanor breaking and entering. He faces two misdemeanor counts of breaking and entering.

He received a $5,000 bond.

The five charged all have June 5 court dates.

Those charged with two counts of breaking and entering left the campus and then came back, Martin said.

Martin also said Turner’s role in the matter “was a little different than the other four.” He declined to elaborate.

Martin said the vandalism, which has been termed by the school system as a senior prank gone bad, happened between midnight to between 3:30 to 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Detective E. Johnson was the charging officer, Martin said in the statement.

School system statement

Meanwhile, in a statement released earlier today, the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District, said, “The community really came together this week to help us clean the campus.”  

Said the statement: “We want to thank the Roanoke Rapids Police Department, Roanoke Rapids Public Works, our staff, and more than a dozen students for coming to campus to help in the clean-up effort. Thankfully, none of the damage was permanent.”  

As far as school disciplinary action against the students, the statement said, “We fully understand the public’s desire to know from simple curiosity and to see justice done in our schools, but we cannot and will not divulge individual student’s disciplinary actions even when students no longer attend our schools or graduate. Know that we stand by our policies and will not tolerate vandalism, breaking student code of conduct, or any other conduct that would put our school, staff, facilities, or community at risk.”

Pressed for an answer on what disciplinary action was taken on the students, system spokesman Les Atkins said, “We stand by the statement.”

Asked whether the students were suspended or will be allowed to participate in next week’s commencement exercises, Atkins declined comment due to the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

A reliable source told rrspin today the students have been suspended for 10 days and will not participate in the graduation exercises.

The source said the school board makes no decisions on disciplinary actions unless there is an appeal.