Two teens charged in vandalism

Published 5:00 am Thursday, July 28, 2005

Two young men were arrested Wednesday for allegedlyspray-painting a terrorism-related message on the high schoolbuilding at Wesson Attendance Center.

Adam Riley, 18, of E. Railroad Ave., Wesson and a 17-year-oldjuvenile each face charges of trespassing, malicious mischief andresisting arrest in the incident. Both young men were high schooldropouts, Wesson Police Chief Steve Carlisle said.

Riley moved into the area last year. He is being held at theCopiah County Jail in Gallman and was scheduled to appear in WessonMunicipal Court for an initial hearing this morning, the chiefsaid.

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The juvenile is a former student at Wesson Attendance Center. Heis being held at the Pike County Detention Center awaiting aninitial hearing before the Copiah County Youth Court, Carlislesaid.

Both young men turned themselves in after their parents orguardians were contacted by investigators, the chief said.

They are accused of depicting the twin towers and an approachingairplane on a wall of the high school building. The graffiti alsoincluded two vague references to the four-year-old incident inletters 10- to 12-inches high.

Carlisle said the two young men gave no reason for their choicein graffiti.

Wesson police came on the scene while the vandalism wasoccurring. The vandal fled, losing the officer in a foot pursuitamong woods and thickets.

“They were dressed all in black so they were a little hard tosee,” Carlisle said.

Wesson Attendance Center Principal Billy Britt said the schoolhas hired a painter to cover up the graffiti and hopes to have thatdone by Monday.

“Our goal is to have it done by August 5 when the students gethere,” he said. “It’s in an area of the school not easilyaccessible to the public so we just want it covered up before thestudents get here.”

Carlisle said it was not only luck that allowed officers todisrupt the vandalism.

“We’ve been keeping our eyes on the school pretty closely duringthe night hours,” he said.