Juvenile suspect implicates self in desecration of vets' plaque in L'burg park

Friday, March 12, 2010

A 16-year-old Lewisburg boy made statements against his interest Thursday afternoon, thereby leading city police to the first of two or more suspects who desecrated the military memorial in Rock Creek Park last weekend.

Several people pulled the plaque from a stone pedestal Saturday night and threw it off the pedestrian bridge and into Rock Creek, Police Detective Sgt. David Henley said Friday morning with Detective James Johnson who interviewed the male suspect.

"I'm working with Juvenile Services to get a petition on him," Johnson said of the paperwork required to put the suspect in front of Marshall County Juvenile Court Judge Steve Bowden. He's to rule on whether the boy should be declared delinquent.

The act of vandalism is a misdemeanor, Henley said.

The Marshall County High School student was taken to Police Headquarters on Thursday afternoon by his parents, Johnson said. After the detective interviewed the boy, he was released into the custody of his parents.

The boy has a previous juvenile record and he didn't have a motive to commit the crime, the two lawmen said. It was a "stupid teenage prank," the lawmen agreed.

Calls to Crime Stoppers' tip line "gave other individuals' names and thy led us to our suspect," Henley said. "We got two specific calls that led us to this branch of the investigation.

"If any body has any more information, please call Crime Stoppers," the detective sergeant said.

Crime Stoppers' phone number is 359-4867. Volunteers receive the calls. They are not police. Callers are given an identification number that helps maintain their anonymity and is later used to pay tipsters. Calls may also be made to the Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division at 359-3800.