Landrum teens arrested for vandalizing school

Published 3:00 pm Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Landrum Police Department arrested four teenagers last week for vandalizing the Landrum High School just two days before the school&squo;s graduation.

Jeffrey Edward Arnett, 18, William Thomas Howard, 18, John Julian Foster, 17 and Kevin Eugene Lawson, III, 17 were arrested and charged with malicious damage to real property valued at more than $1,000, but less than $5,000.

Foster was also charged with one count of trespassing.

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The school suffered damage including spray painting of windows, doors, brick walls, a dumpster, sidewalk and drink machines, according to school officials.

Last Thursday around 1:30 a.m. two Landrum Police Department officers were patrolling the area and noticed the teens and chased them, according to Landrum Police Chief Bruce Shelnut. One suspect was caught during the chase and all four were later arrested.

Landrum High School Principal Brian Sherman said the school was cleaned up Thursday except that professional sandblasters may need to be called in to remove graffitti from sidewalks. Sherman says the clean up costs will definitely run in the thousands of dollars.

Some of the graffitti left at the school was senior related, but much of it was profanity, according to Chief Shelnut. Shelnut said the teens will face felony charges in Spartanburg County Court. No court date was known as of press time.

Shelnut said the teens did not break into the school and all damage was done to the outside. He said further charges could follow from drink machine vendors if they choose to take out warrants for personal property damage.

The teens were released from jail last Thursday around 6 p.m.

Howard was the starting quarterback for the Landrum Cardinals last season and played right field for the baseball team this year.