Prank nets grads community service
Lion statue, floor at QACHS damaged by graduating seniors
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.
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