Campus Vandalism Results in Two Arrests and a United Community

Two local teens, ages 17 and 18, were arrested on May 9 and are allegedly responsible for the recent vandalism on St. Paul’s School campus, according to the Covington Police Department.

The night before Saturday, April 27, proved to be a dark piece of history for the St. Paul’s community. Intruders invaded the school’s campus and besmirched the Founder’s Circle, baseball facilities, religious statues, and memorials with pro-satanic, anti-Semitic, and anti-religious markings.

Following initial reports of the vandalism, faculty, parents, students, alumni, and friends of St. Paul's immediately converged on campus to quickly return the campus to its former beauty.

Following initial reports of the vandalism, the St. Paul’s community immediately united to quickly return the campus to its former beauty.

However, what seemed like a dark day turned out to be one of the brightest, most moving of events. A number of students, parents, and faculty quickly pulled together to clean the hatred off the walls of the buildings and bring the landmarks to their respected natures.

St. Paul’s School Principal Bro. Raymond Bulliard, F.S.C., released his weekly newsletter to students and their parents, in which he wrote about the hateful acts and noted his prayers for those responsible, that they have the hatred taken out of their hearts.

In regards to cleanup, Brother Ray had this to say, “People from far and wide descended on our campus determined to ‘right the wrong’. And they did exactly that. In fact, the campus looked better when they finished than it did Friday afternoon before the vandalism.”

He went on to thank those who helped restore the campus. “I was inundated on Saturday with emails, texts, voice mails, and visits from people who care about this special place. And speaking of special — special thanks goes to Physical Plant Director Don Pressley, who assumed command of the cleanup operation on the main campus and to the baseball boosters for doing the same on the baseball facility.”

Students around the school were very shocked to hear about the vandalism when it first happened. While mixed feelings were given, the sense of nationalism for St. Paul’s was the strongest, and that helped the clean-up process occur that much more quickly and resulted in more bonding.

“I can’t believe someone would actually do something like this. I don’t think it worked out the way they expected though, because everybody came together, not just as a school, but as a family to fix what was wrong,” said sophomore Casey Fitzmaurice.

According to WWL, the police have considered these acts not only vandalism, but also hate crimes and will be charged as a felony. Police immediately reported having good solid leads to who may be behind these deeds.  However many initial lead calls were to report community vandals known as “taggers,” who typically vandalize walls and road signs with stickers.

“A lot of people are calling in tagger names that they know. The people that did this are not taggers, but we have to check out every lead. As a rule, anything that has to do with a school provides immediate feedback. We are not getting that kind of feedback. This usually indicates it is someone older,” said Covington Police Department Capt. Jack West.

CrimeStoppers offered a reward of up to $2,000 for information in the case leading to an arrest. The Covington Police and a local businessman each offered an additional $500.

[photo credit: St. Paul's School]
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