Sword theft gouges school's pride

February 6, 2008 5:53:38 PM PST
A high school prank could have some students facing felony charges. Two large swords in front of Brazoswood High School were sawed off. It's a heated high school rivalry, and it didn't take long for investigators in Clute to figure out who did it.

One of those students accused of stealing the swords says it was just a prank, but the school district doesn't agree and it wants to pursue criminal charges.

For the past 20 years the swords have stood at the entrance of Brazoswood High. It is a symbol of pride for the Bucaneers.

"A lot of us have a lot of school pride," said student Ashley Schimal of Brazoswood High School.

That pride was damaged as students arrived at school yesterday finding the swords missing. The display where they once stood was wrapped in purple tape. Police say someone used hacksaws to cut the swords free between midnight and 2:30am yesterday, leaving only the brackets and these brick pillars behind.

"I just thought, who would do such a thing," asked Brazoswood High School Student Yesenia Gonzalez.

Who is the question police answered after a frenzy of text messages among students. They say the suspects are students at Angleton High School. Investigators say that explains the purple tape. Purple is Angleton's color.

The text messages helped Clute police track the three 17 year olds down. They found the swords at one of their homes. Detective Scotty Harris says one of the suspects said he'd first seen the swords on the internet.

"From what he told me, ever since he saw them he just wanted to take them," said Sgt Harris.

One of the students who admits stealing the swords, tells Eyewitness News he knows now that what he did was wrong.

Angleton and Brazoswood High are rival schools, but Angleton ISD's superintendent says that doesn't make this right, even if it was a prank.

"We certainly do not condone such behavior," said Dr Heath Burns. "If they were involved we offer our most sincere apology."

No one, as of now, has been arrested or charged with any crime. The school district wants to pursue criminal charges. This case could have been a felony had the swords not been found. If filed, it appears it would be a misdemeanor.

The students, one of whom police say is an accomplished welder, have offered to try and put the swords back as they were found. They know they could also be punished at the school district level as well.

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