Durham, N.C. — Police arrested a 21-year-old man accused of vandalizing the fire alarm and sprinkler system inside a science building at North Carolina Central University in Durham, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
Kenneth Drake was charged Saturday with attempted breaking and entering into a motor vehicle, false fire alarm, injury to a building, fence or wall and injury to real property. Police said Drake had an outstanding warrant from Greensboro on the attempted breaking and entering charge.
N.C. Central Police Chief Tim Bellamy said Drake was scheduled to take a college placement exam in the building, but was turned away because he didn't have proper identification. In an act of retaliation, Bellamy said, Drake busted a sprinkler head on the second floor.
"Which then caused flooding on the first and second floor of the building, damage to numerous amounts of computers, personal work stations, the flooring, tile," Bellamy said. "(I'd estimate the damage) in the hundreds of thousands."
The building was evacuated and about 300 students will have to reschedule their exam as a result.
N.C. Central student Dontavion Carmon said he frequently leaves long-term projects in the building for days at a time. He said he didn't lose any work, but any projects left in the building over the weekend were likely destroyed.
"If that were to happen to me, I'd be highly upset about it," Carmon said. "Number one, that's a grade. Number two, that's taking your time and effort."