Two teens charged after joyride, vandalism spree at Bradley Central
BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- A John Deere "Gator' is built for hauling equipment and marking ball fields. It's not an All-Terrain-Vehicle.
It became one at Bradley Central High School November 19.
"They just went out and kind of went muddin' with it," Bradley Central baseball coach Travis Adams says. "Looks like they ran it into a tree!"
Bending rims and an axle.
"I had a bus I needed that night," Athletics Director Turner Jackson says. "I had to get it fixed, that day!"
Seats torn on two buses, the baseball team's locker room rifled; eight pars of cleats stolen, bats taken to weight benches in the indoor practice facility, and balls thrown against the upper walls of the batting cages, turning the insulation into swiss cheese.
"It looks like they went out and had a big time," Adams says.
'They' are two 16-year-old boys; one a member of Bradley Central's football team. The other plays ball for Chattanooga Central High School.
Both are charged with one count of theft more than $1,000, two counts of vandalism more than $500, one count of vandalism more than $1,000, three counts of auto burglary, and four counts of burglary.
"All this takes a lot of money and effort," Jackson says. "Parents over the years have put a lot into these facilities. Yeah, I was angry!"
The suspects left several clues to their identities, Jackson says. Surveillance cameras recorded the joyride on the football practice field.
"We also got an anonymous email naming names," Jackson says. "Our school resource officer got them to admit a lot of it."
But coaches don't have a critical answer; why?
"Probably just being 16-year-olds, being bored," Adams says.
"I don't know if he (the Bradley Central student) gets it or not," Jackson says. "He didn't show enough remorse for me."
The coaches doubt the suspects realize who the vandalism hurts most.
It falls on the students, the athletes involved in the sport," Adams says. "They're the ones who'll have to do without, while we fix all this."
"Hopefully, they'll learn from it," Jackson says. "And they'll pay to fix it, because there's quite a bit of damage done.
Estimates range from $8,000 to $14,000, depending upon whether the 'Gator' can be repaired, Jackson says.
The boys face juvenile hearings, and likely, expulsion from their respective schools, Jackson says.