Prank nets grads com­mu­nity ser­vice

Lion statue, floor at QACHS dam­aged by grad­u­at­ing se­niors

Record Observer - - Front Page - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

Two re­cent Queen Anne’s County High School grad­u­ates pleaded guilty to ma­li­cious de­struc­tion of prop­erty for a se­nior prank that went awry, dam­ag­ing the school’s lion statue and the floor. Both must per­form com­mu­nity ser­vice and pay resti­tu­tion.

CEN­TRE­VILLE — After an at­tempted se­nior prank at Queen Anne’s County High School went south and au­thor­i­ties re­sponded to the late night in­ci­dent, two of the three grad­u­ates had their time in court on Fri­day, June 30.

Re­tired Ce­cil County Judge Stephen A. Baker over­saw the district court case.

The teens en­tered the north­east side of the high school at about 1:30 a.m. through an un­locked door the morn­ing of May 26, Queen Anne’s County State’s At­tor­ney Lance Richard­son said, and at­tempted three pranks: put the wrestling mats in the lobby, hang toi­let pa­per from the steel ceil­ing beams and steal the school statue lion.

Robert David Chanaud, 19, and Wy­att Pa­trick Pin­der, 18, both pleaded guilty to ma­li­cious de­struc­tion of prop­erty more than $1,000 but the judge awarded pro­ba­tion be­fore judge­ment. Chanaud and Pin­der were sen­tenced to 40 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice, un­su­per­vised pro­ba­tion and resti­tu­tion to the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion for the da­m­ages caused dur­ing the in­ci­dent. Gar­ret Lo­gan Deese, 18, was also charged but is still pend­ing trial.

The com­mu­nity ser­vices hours, Richard­son re­quested, are to be com­pleted at the high school. If the school does not have that amount of work, an­other av­enue for com­plet­ing the hours will be fig­ured out.

Both grad­u­ates waived their right to a jury trial after Baker ex­plained their rights.

The for­mer stu­dents were re­quired each to pay $661.67 in resti­tu­tion, as well as $57.50 in court fees.

After rolling the 1,000-pound statue through a hall­way on a dolly, the lion was dropped after the se­niors at­tempted to lift it. Da­m­ages from the drop in­cluded a large chip on the lion’s nose, a chip on the side of the face, small scrapes on the side and a large crack on the tail, po­lice said.

Also dam­aged was the floor from when the statue was moved as the metal wheels dug grooves into the tiles due to the statue’s weight, po­lice said.

The teens were charged with var­i­ous counts of bur­glary, theft, tres­pass­ing and de­struc­tion of prop­erty, but only were pros­e­cuted with the ma­li­cious de­struc­tion of prop­erty more than $1,000.

The school statue was do­nated by the se­nior class of 2002 after it raised pri­vate funds to pur­chase the lion, Richard­son said. The con­crete statue, cov­ered in bronze, was re­paired by a Rus­sian artist at the Smith­so­nian for a tune of $1,100, Richard­son said. The statue was val­ued be­tween $5,000 and $6,000, Richard­son said.

Richard­son said though the in­ci­dent was just a school prank gone wrong, con­se­quences are needed for poor judg­ment. Richard­son made the re­quest for pro­ba­tion be­fore judge­ment so the grad­u­ates don’t have a record fol­low­ing them for the rest of their lives.

Richard­son said he hoped Chanaud and Pin­der think their de­ci­sions through be­fore act­ing on them be­cause he wanted them to be pro­duc­tive mem­bers of so­ci­ety in the fu­ture.

Chanaud’s lawyer, Michael Fricker with the Of­fice of the Pub­lic De­fender for Queen Anne’s County, said out­side of this in­ci­dent his client had been a pro­duc­tive per­son. He said Chanaud wanted to go into the United States Air Force.

Fricker asked that pro­ba­tion be abated after the resti­tu­tion was com­pleted.

Pin­der’s lawyer, P. Mar­shall Long Jr., said his client is at­tend­ing Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege in the fall and had no ju­ve­nile record. Pin­der, speak­ing to the judge, apol­o­gized for his ac­tions the night of the in­ci­dent.

Baker said though the in­ci­dent was a joke, it came with big con­se­quences that if con­victed last a life­time. He said fu­ture schol­ar­ships could be in jeop­ardy, jobs would be harder to re­ceive, and to Chanaud, ap­ply­ing to the mil­i­tary would be more dif­fi­cult.

He said it’s “tough enough to get by nowa­days,” and though he was once young, “you just can’t do stupid things.”

Baker said both in­di­vid­u­als seemed to be good young men with a fu­ture ahead of them, but said if they vi­o­late their pro­ba­tion more se­ri­ous con­se­quences would be im­posed. Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @mike_k­ibay­times.

The Queen Anne’s County High School lion statue was dam­aged May 26.

PHOTO BY DALE PA­TRICK

The Queen Anne’s County High School lion statue was dam­aged May 26 when three stu­dents tried to re­move it from the build­ing, ac­cord­ing to the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice.

WY­ATT PA­TRICK PIN­DER

ROBERT DAVID CHANAUD

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