Police arrest teens for high school parking lot window smashing spree
Following a brief investigation, Oak Bluffs police arrested two Martha's Vineyard Regional High School students in connection with a window smashing spree in the school parking lot on the evening of Feb. 14.
Police said the two teens, ages 17 and 18, used rocks to smash the windows of four cars and a building window in the office to the high school athletic director.
The vandalism occurred during the opening night of the high school theater production of "A Chorus Line." The parking lot was crowded with the cars of playgoers and others attending evening classes at the school.
At the request of principal Margaret "Peg" Reagan, Oak Bluffs police officers were stationed inside and outside the Performing Arts Center for all remaining performances of "A Chorus Line" during the weekend.
Ms. Reagan told The Times that it is common practice to request a police detail at athletic events. She said in the future she would ask that police be present for artistic performances as well.
According to a police report, the two teens drank heavily prior to the play and went inside to watch the performance. The boys left the play to have a smoke and continue drinking, according to the report.
About 9 pm, a man who had been practicing fencing left the high school gym and found the passenger side front window of his Mini Cooper smashed and a large rock resting on the seat. Oak Bluffs police who responded to the lot found a nearby Kia Rio that also belonged to a fencer from the same class with a cracked windshield.
Police began a search of the lot and found two more damaged vehicles parked along the fire lane next to the Performing Arts Center. An Oak Bluffs teacher attending the play with a friend was shocked to find the window of her Ford Contour, a car she had bought one week earlier, smashed. The other car, a Ford Explorer, belonged to a high school senior and a cast member of the "A Chorus Line." As the young girl looked in shock at her car, a police officer did his best to brush the shards of glass off the front seat so she could drive the vehicle home.
Police said both boys were cooperative and admitted to their roles in the vandalism. Police charged the boys with wantonly injuring real or personal property and breaking and entering a motor vehicle during the night with intent to commit a misdemeanor.
School officials suspended the boys for one week. The boys and their parents agreed to make full restitution.
Ms. Reagan described the vandalism as tragic and the type of abnormal behavior that could only be explained as a result of some chemical or alcohol impairment.
"I don't think most kids, unless they were in an altered state, would even think to do that," she said. "It is very uncharacteristic of our student body, and it was not even aimed at anyone in particular."
Superintendent of schools James Weis was in the audience Thursday evening, enjoying the show. "What some people are going to come away with is this terrible thing that happened, rather than opening night of Chorus Line, which was fantastic," he said. "So that really is disappointing."