Local News

East Wake seniors charged with vandalizing 28 buses

Posted May 28, 2009 3:50 p.m. EDT
Updated May 29, 2009 6:39 a.m. EDT

— Authorities arrested seven East Wake High School seniors Thursday and charged them with vandalizing 28 school buses with spray paint. School officials say it was a senior prank.

Antonio Bland, 18; Dafineace Ratliff, 17; Tyasia Nicole Williams, 18; Marquis Joyner, 17; Latasha May, 18; Taliva Allen, 18; and Calvin Dreston, 18, were charged with vandalism and breaking and entering.

The students were also accused of breaking into a school building and pouring baby oil on the floor. A school principal slipped, but was OK. However, the school administrator wasn't alone in encountering the slippery mess.

“I saw what happened. I walked down the hallway. I almost fell,” said Antwon Payton, an East Wake junior.

The buses and hallways were cleaned immediately and no one else was injured, school officials said.

Michael Evans, spokesman for Wake County Public School System, said the students will be allowed to take exams and graduate, but will not be allowed to walk with their class at the June 14 commencement ceremonies.

Other students said the prank was not a smart move.

“I'm not going to do it. I'm a senior and I got stuff to do,” said Markeith Wooten, an East Wake senior.

“I got a lot of stuff, football player, basketball player, trying to go to college. I've got to walk. I've got to see myself going across that stage,” said Antonio Payton, an East Wake junior.

Some of the parents plan to meet with school officials Friday morning about the decision to not allow the students to participate in commencement.

Two of the parents told WRAL they want to see proof that their child committed the prank.

Another parent said she was devastated when she got the call about her child being arrested. She said she has family members coming from as far away as Oklahoma for the graduation ceremony.

The students appeared before the Wake County magistrate Thursday afternoon. They were later released to the custody of their parents.