Three teens arrested for vandalizing a Visalia high school

Part of a beloved Visalia mascot was stolen.
November 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Blue ribbons are wrapped around nearly every tree on Redwood High School's campus. This week is the rival Cowhide football game and Redwood says their opponents may have taken a prank too far.

Remnants of dozens of eggs and profanity laced graffiti still sting the walls of Redwood High School. School officials say Monday night a group of students used the eggs and black spray paint to vandalize the school.

"It had to be a lot it was such a huge mess it took our grounds mess basically all morning to clean up and then this morning we found some areas we weren't able to catch the first time," Redwood High School Principal Dr. Fernie Marroquin said.

Coincidentally Monday night was also Redwood and Mt. Whitney high school's annual hotdog eating contest at Taylor's Hotdogs to get students excited about Friday night's highly anticipated Cowhide football game. Redwood High is adorned with blue and white decorations and Cowhide markings to get excited about the big game.

But after Monday night's event as Redwood's mascot was removing his costume and placing it in his car he was attacked from behind and part of the mascot was stolen.

"He had taken off the mask and was putting it in the backseat of his car and the unknown individual wearing a white hooded sweatshirt came up from behind pushed him," Sgt. Paul Esquibel with the Visalia Police Department said.

The thief snatched the head of the mascot and took off. Authorities still haven't been able to find it but they were able to arrest three Mt. Whitney High School students for the vandalism. The kids were caught on Redwood's video surveillance system.

"They were arrested and turned over to their parents the case will be submitted to probation department for evaluation and at some point they're going to seek restitution for the damage," Esquibel said.

Police do not believe the two incidents are related. Despite the crime Redwood High Principal Fernie Marroquin says the students are staying positive.

"They realize this is a small group of kids that took things a little too far and I think we're all disappointed but our kids are good at realizing that retaliating isn't the answer," Marroquin said.

The Redwood Rangers mascot costume cost about $5,500 when they purchased it ten years ago so replacing the head could cost up to $2,000. They are asking anyone with information to come forward. Again the only information police have is that the person was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt.


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