Archive for Friday, July 15, 2011

Three suspects identified in extensive vandalism at Eudora school stadium

July 15, 2011

Douglas County prosecutors confirmed Friday morning that Eudora police have arrested three people in connection with the recent vandalism that damaged the new Eudora District Stadium.

District Attorney Charles Branson said one adult suspect, an 18-year-old Eudora man, posted bond and was released from jail Thursday night and two other juvenile suspects were arrested and later released from custody.

“We are awaiting additional information from the Eudora Police Department before charges are filed,” Branson said.

Eudora police said earlier this week they were investigating vandalism at the stadium that opened last fall on the Eudora High School campus, 2203 Church St. Voters approved a 2007 bond issue to fund the near $2 million stadium.

Police and school officials said suspects late last week spray-painted the Cardinal mascot head on the new field’s artificial surface and a portion of the track, causing at least $25,000 in damage.

According to Douglas County Jail records, an 18-year-old Eudora man was arrested at the Eudora police department on suspicion of criminal damage to property greater than $25,000. He posted $2,500 bond through a bondsman and was given notice to appear in court July 28. Prosecutors could file formal charges before then.

The Journal-World generally does not name suspects unless they are formally charged.

Eudora police Friday morning said supervisors authorized to speak about the investigation would not be available Friday, and Kristin Magette, a Eudora schools spokeswoman, said the district and police department were planning a joint news release for Monday.

Once the damage was reported last week, Eudora school district closed the stadium, pending repairs and additional security measures.

Magette said Superintendent Don Grosdidier told school board members Thursday evening that the district has received a preliminary estimate of $130,000 from a contractor for the repairs to the turf and track. The estimate included a full resealing of the track — not just the portion that was damaged — for appearance of uniformity, she said.

“Those are really preliminary estimates,” Magette said. “At this point they’re exploring a lot of options.”

She said the district does have insurance so likely not all costs would be an out-of-pocket expense. District officials have said they expect to seek damages from anyone prosecuted for the vandalism.

Grosdidier also told board members Thursday the district planned to use the stadium this fall for football and soccer games, even if that means coming up with a short-term solution, Magette said.

“It demonstrates in my mind the magnitude of what’s been done,” she said. “It quantifies exactly how extreme of a situation that we’re in. This isn’t something that you simply buy paint for or buff it out. This is significant.”

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