Vandalism shuts down bus service for Incline schools
Nevada Appeal News Service
INCLINE VILLAGE – Four students were arrested by school police Monday afternoon in the wake of bus vandalism that occurred over the weekend at the high school here.
“Four (kids) were in custody by 1 p.m.,” said Ron Cooney, communications specialist for Washoe County School District. “They are all juveniles so we’re not releasing their names at this time.”
The charges against the students have not yet been released. The students disabled the radiator and air-brake lines on all eight school buses parked behind the high school.
The investigation continues Cooney said.
“According to the chief of police the only reason they gave for doing this is they didn’t want to go to school today,” Cooney said. Incline schools, however, were in session Monday despite the vandalism, though parents were responsible for taking their kids in.
School officials believe that the vandalism occurred late Saturday night, leaving students waiting curbside Monday morning.
The Washoe County Sheriffs assisted in checking for fingerprints Monday, while the majority of the investigation will be done by school district police. School police reviewed surveillance tapes of the crime scene prior to the arrests.
“We have pranks, they come around and pull the power cords, but nothing like this,” said officer Dave Grinde.
Bus driver Duane Cummings was the first to discover that the hoses were cut.
“I saw the puddle and I saw that the (radiator) hose was cut, after looking around, I surmised they were all cut,” Cummings said.
Upon further investigation, Cummings and other drivers found that the air-brakes were not working and discovered that those lines had also been cut.
“This morning when we first were notified, it was upsetting. Now it’s just another day – we’ve had vandalism before, it’s nothing new,” said John Brooks, supervisor of operations for Incline Schools.
Brooks, who has worked for the schools for 29 years, said there have been other cases of vandalism in the past, most notably an incident about 15 years ago when bus tires were slashed.
He estimates that with materials and emergency services the repairs could cost as much as $5,000.
“It’s disappointing, it really is,” said head custodian Daniel Brooks, who has worked at Incline High School for 24 years. “In all the years we’ve only had one incident that came close to this.”
If it was a prank, school officials are not laughing.
“As far as we’re concerned this was a life-threatening event,” John Brooks said. “Somebody had some knowledge of bus or diesel mechanics – knowledge and absolute intent.”
Daniel Brooks said that the buses were repaired by the end of the school day at 2 p.m. Monday.
“Hats off to the mechanics from Reno, they did a really good job,” Daniel Brooks said.
A general call went out at about 8:40 a.m. Monday to notify parents that bus service was down until further notice. Parents were told to call the snow line at (772) 337-7509 in the afternoon to find out whether the buses would be back on the road by the time school let out.
• Contact reporter Lucy Redoglia at firstname.lastname@example.org or 831-4666 ext. 113.