Officers charge teenagers in Mowat Middle School vandalism

Crime

LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — A Saturday night break in at Mowat Middle School left classrooms, gymnasiums and offices destroyed.

Police estimated the damage amounts to more than $100,000.

Early Monday morning, the Lynn Haven Police Department posted surveillance photos on Facebook, in hopes of finding two suspects.

Officers believe Richard Dale Williams III, 15, and Jaedon Haney, 16, broke into Mowat Middle School with a hammer.

“They broke some windows, broke some computer monitors, smart boards. They took some golf carts, damaged those.. I think two of those are actually going to be totaled,” said Lynn Haven Lieutenant Charles Enfinger.

Teachers said it’s hard to not take this vandalism personal.

“It’s devastating for these teachers who have had an incredibly difficult 18 months to then walk in and see personal items ruined, fire extinguishers sprayed all over the room, and bookshelves turned over apparently for no other reason than to see things smashed to the ground,” said Mowat Middle School teacher Alexis Underwood. “Now that’s heartbreaking.”

Officers said when the parents of the two suspects recognized their children’s pictures posted online, they took them to the station to be turned in.

“The kids were identified, by friends, teachers, and peers and by their parents. So their parents actually brought them in here,” said Lt. Enfinger.

Mowat Principal, Ed Sheffield said the damage is unlike anything he’s ever seen.

“We’ve never had anything to this level before, ever. We’ve never had anything that probably exceeds over $500 or $1000 worth of damage and now the Lynn Haven Police estimated this to be well over $100,000 worth of damage,” said Sheffield.

Mowat administrators said neither suspect was a student at Mowat previously.

Lynn Haven Police said the teenagers have been charged with burglary and criminal mischief.

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