TRINITY, Fla. - "I believe this was malicious,' said Jim Michaels, principal at Mitchell High School in Trinity, about a senior prank taken too far.
"This was an attack on the school," said school resource officer Cpl. Joe Koehler. H e said in the middle of the night Friday, four teenagers splattered green and white paint all over the school.
"This is our pride, our property. I was sad about it," said Junior Connor Murchie.
According to Cpl. Koehler, the teens also littered the campus with cigarette cartons and posted profanity-laced signs targeting students and Koehler himself. "To me, those are personal attacks and that's not something you get over with rolling paint over," he said.
"Nails in the parking lot were the worst, because teachers' and kids' cars were ruined. It's incredibly dangerous. Kids can get hurt," said Murchie.
"These kids get off campus, start driving home, next thing you know, we have flat tires, accidents, roll overs. This really could have been a lot worse," said Cpl. Koehler of the nail-covered parking lot.
The 17-year-olds, two of them students at Mitchell High, are charged with misdemeanor trespassing and felony criminal mischief. They are charged as juveniles, but that could change pending the state attorney's handling of the case.
"Strive to be better people. If you come on this campus and commit crime, understand that we're going to come get you," said Cpl. Koehler.
Koehler added that because kids "talk," all four teenagers were identified within a few hours and arrested in the days after.