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Police question 2 boys after Ohio city cancels classes over damaged buses

The Associated Press

NEWARK, Ohio- Police questioned two fifth-grade boys after the city's school district canceled classes Monday because vandals trashed the city's school bus fleet twice during the weekend.

A caller to a school district tip line gave at least one of the boys' names and teachers were able to identify them on video from a surveillance camera on the bus lot, said Sgt. Paul Davis.

The boys, whose names and ages weren't released, were brought in for questioning and sent home. They were due in Licking County Juvenile Court on Tuesday afternoon and likely would be charged with felony vandalism, Davis said.

The day off for the district's 6,700 students was intended to give police time to investigate all 50 buses for damage and evidence, district spokeswoman Karen Truett said. She said the vandals had discharged fire extinguishers, dumped trash in the buses and stuffed paper in the gas tanks.

About 20 of the central Ohio district's buses were hit in two rounds of vandalism.

After the first incidents were discovered Saturday, the buses were fixed and cleaned, but then the bus facility was hit again late Sunday or early Monday, Truett said. Apart from a broken mirror, there was little physical damage, just a mess, she said. District officials said buses also were vandalized last month.

The bus compound is surrounded by an 8-foot chain link fence topped by barbed wire. District officials believe the vandal or vandals likely squeezed through a gate opening, Truett said.

School officials expect to have the buses back on the road Tuesday.


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