Southridge students removed statue from rival school, police say
Two Southridge High students told police they removed the statue of Chief Kamiakin at a rival Kennewick school as a "prank," authorities said.
But Kennewick police still are looking for other vandals who apparently came later the same night and moved the statue over a fence into the parking lot and spray painted the base.
The bronze statue of the school's namesake riding a horse and holding an eagle was removed from its pedestal overnight and found Sunday in the parking lot of Kamiakin High School, 600 N. Arthur St., said Mike Blatman, Kennewick police spokesman.
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A school baseball dugout also was found flooded with water.
Kennewick police officers and Kennewick School District security officials used video surveillance recordings to identify two 17-year-old Southridge High boys as suspects.
The juniors, whose names were not released, reportedly admitted to removing the statue in what they called a "prank." They say they jumped a fence around the school's courtyard, unbolted the statue and leaned it up against the inside of the fence, Blatman told the Herald.
Officials believe some other vandals came later and lifted the statue over the fence and left it in the parking lot with the base spray painted. The graffiti on the base referenced Kennewick High, but Blatman said police don't know if it was done by Kennewick High students or someone trying to make it seem like Kennewick High kids were responsible.
The statue, valued at about $9,000, was not damaged and has been reinstalled.
On Thursday night, the Chief Kamiakin statue was targeted by vandals again, along with a lion at Kennewick High. Both were spray painted blue and yellow, which are Southridge High colors, Blatman said.
But, Blatman noted, police don't yet know if the vandals are from Southridge. Officers still are trying to identify the latest vandals.
Benton County prosecutors will review the case for possible charges of criminal trespassing against the two Southridge students.
Anyone with information about the rest of the vandalism is asked to contact Kennewick police or can provide information anonymously by contacting Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or at tricitiescrimestoppers.org .