Teens arrested for school prank gone wrong

May 24, 2011 3:42:53 PM PDT
Three local high school students are getting a tough lesson about consequences after an apparent senior prank. Now their families question whether the punishment -- which could include jail time -- fits the crime. It all started with an overnight break-in at Clements High School less than two weeks ago. Families of the suspects call this a senior prank which has been blown out of proportion. They say there's not enough evidence to support the criminal allegations for which the students were arrested, and say the district is even being too harsh, with just days left in the school year.

A mother said, "I plead with the school that they would let those kids walk."

This parent, who agreed to talk with Eyewitness News if we didn't use her name or show her face, is among several who have asked Fort Bend ISD to reconsider letting more than a dozen students walk with their classes during graduation on June 3. The Clements high students were involved in what this parent says was a prank.

"Their senior prank was going to be to move the chairs that were in the gymnasium to the roof of the building," the mother said.

On May 13, just after midnight Sugar Land police responded to a burglar alarm at Clements High School. Upon arrival they found several people running out of the back of the school. Nothing was taken, but police say the back door had been pried open.

They caught and arrested three teens: Brian Warshauer, 18, Ali Lilani, 17 and Taylor Ashford, 18. Investigators say each has been arrested on suspicion of burglary of a building, engaging in organized criminal activity and evading arrest. Warshauer is also accused of possession of a controlled substance.

Those who know the teens say the criminal charges are overzealous.

Clements High School Peter Chin said, "I think that's ridiculous. It depends on motive. They didn't have bad intentions. Nothing was stolen, nothing was broken."

Fort Bend ISD spokesperson Mary Ann Simpson gave the following statement: "Unfortunately, the poor decisions made by the students involved have resulted in some serious and regrettable consequences."

We're told by family and friends that Fort Bend ISD has moved those involved to an alternative campus, barred them from prom and from walking in graduation.

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