Arrests made in school, city vandalism cases


The annex walls were found vandalized Nov. 30. Some offensive words in this picture have been blurred (See below for uncensored picture).

By Nikk McCollum and Cortlynn Stark

By Nikk McCollum and Cortlynn Stark

Two Free State High School juniors have been arrested in connection with vandalism at Lawrence High, Free State and other locations in the city.

On Tuesday, the students were arrested, according to Lawrence Police. The vandalism rose to the level of a felony because of the level of damage.

“I commend the Lawrence Police Department and its school resource officers for their excellent work in solving these crimes,” Superintendent Rick Doll said in a statement. “The cost of labor and materials to remove spray paint from these brick and stone surfaces exceeds $3,500. Those are funds that must be diverted from other school needs. We believe that all costs associated with these crimes should be borne by the individuals responsible, not the taxpayers.”

The vandalism to LHS was discovered Sunday, Nov. 30. Graphic images and messages were written in orange, black and silver spray paint on the red bricks of the north side of the annex. Custodians and assistant principal Mike Norris spent that day cleaning the graffiti off the building.

According to police, some of the recent graffiti included messages with racial slurs, sexual references and other offensive messages. At Free State, the athletic stadium was vandalized. Other vandalism occurred at businesses and private property in Lawrence.

“It is my hope that these arrests serve as a deterrent to anyone who seeks to vandalize public facilities in the future,” Doll said. “I also encourage anyone with knowledge of these or other similar crimes to share that information with law enforcement.”