Dougherty County School police nab bus vandals - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty County School police nab bus vandals

April 9, 2007

Albany--  The Dougherty County School bus vandals have been identified.  The culprits are children, some as young as 9-years-old.

Five children were pulled out of school Monday after school police matched the students to the video showing them driving and heavily damaging several Dougherty County school buses.

The amazing footage shows elementary and middle school kids on joyrides that Sunday April 1st. It happened in broad daylight, with it seems no care in the world. On the video, you can see is a 12-year-old boy behind the wheel of a bus.  Beside him are two 9-year-old girls. At one point the 12-year-old is actually attempting to teach the 9-year-old how to drive the bus.

Video shows the kids using the bus radio system to radio other kids on another Dougherty County bus being driven around the yard. Then it really got dangerous. 

The 12-year-old loses control of the wheel and then rams into the bus yard garage. One girl is slammed into the front of the bus and thrown to the floor but it's then that they all pop up and quickly leave the bus. School police Chief Troy Conley is surprised the vandals are so young.

"I was shocked when we pulled the video and it was revealed that they were youthful offenders, extremely youthful," said Conley.

The surveillance video comes from a fairly new camera system set up on the buses. School police took the footage to schools in the area. That's how they were able to identify the vandals. The other question is how were the kids able to damage the buses.

Chief Conley says they scaled the fence at the yard and keys were left in some of the buses.   As of now, the kids will remain in school. They will be charged with criminal damage to property and trespassing. They'll have a tribunal hearing to determine disciplinary action.

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