Crime

Southridge pranksters went wild at Kennewick High. Police report reveals their mayhem

Senior pranksters recorded at Kennewick High

A group of 20 Southridge High School seniors allegedly got into The Lions Den at Kennewick High School on June 6 and a left a mess inside and outside of the gym. Editor's note: There is no audio.
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A group of 20 Southridge High School seniors allegedly got into The Lions Den at Kennewick High School on June 6 and a left a mess inside and outside of the gym. Editor's note: There is no audio.

A group of Southridge High teens gathered outside of Kennewick High School days before graduation for what is believed to have been a senior prank.

Video shows they brought a giant “For Sale” sign and some plastic bags with them when they showed up in different vehicles. They stuck dozens of plastic forks into the lawn, wound plastic wrap around banisters and hung the sign on the front of the building.

Then, at 12:30 a.m. on June 6, some of the teens found an open door at the school and went inside The Lions Den — the school’s gymnasium — and trashed the place.

A Kennewick police report obtained by the Herald details the mess left behind by a group of 20 Southridge students. The group was made up of seven 17-year-olds, a dozen 18-year-olds and a 19-year-old.

The teens made headlines when they were emergency expelled from school after the incident and the Kennewick School Board had to hold an emergency meeting to determine how to discipline the teens.

The district didn’t release details about whether the students were punished, but sources have said that all were able to participate in graduation.

Benton County’s prosecutor and the Kennewick City Attorney’s Office declined to file charges against the teens on the recommendation of the parents.

A senior prank

The Southridge teens were able to get into the building when a door didn’t close when two Kennewick students left the gym eight hours before the prank started. Kennewick surveillance video showed the students leaving at about 2:30 p.m. that day and the door not closing, according to Kennewick High School Resource Officer Michael Rosane wrote.

No one appears to have noticed the door was open until the Southridge group showed up. The same video cameras later show a crowd approaching the door. When a security light activated, several of them scattered, but it didn’t deter them for long.

Once they figured out that no one was around, they went inside and let more people in through the front doors.

About four of the teens said they didn’t do anything. The remaining 16 students admitted to participating in the vandalism in some way.

A lion statue inside the building was covered with plastic wrap and caution tape, bath bombs were placed in urinals and toilets, and plastic wrap was strung from banisters. Several people blew up balloons and left them along with folding chairs strewn across the gym floor.

Two did most of the damage

Two 18-year-olds were responsible for the majority of the vandalism. They both went into the leadership class supplies that were on the second floor, and one of them threw a large roll of white paper over the railing.

The other tossed rubber bracelets over the railing and poured Corn Flakes and plastic wrap across the gym floor. He was also seen spreading reams of paper over the gym floor along with caution tape and plastic wrap.

Authorities estimated that it cost about $500 to clean the mess.

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Cameron Probert covers breaking news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.
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