no avatar

Sullivan Central buses back on the road after vandalism; two juveniles charged

Timesnews.net Staff • May 3, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Sullivan County School's Transportation Manager, Bill Copas, calls Wednesday a day of, "creative transporting."

But, after 18 Sullivan Central High School buses were vandalized in the middle of the night -- temporarily putting six out of commission and forcing buses to double up on routes -- by Thursday morning all was pretty much back to normal.

"They worked on them yesterday afternoon and last night and got some of them back in working order," Copas said. "That doesn't mean they're completely fixed, but they can run."

"With repairs and spare (buses), they were able to make all the routes this morning."

Two male juveniles, ages 14 and 15, have been charged in the incident. The pair face charges of 16 counts of burglary, vandalism over $10,000 and two counts of theft under $500. Police say the two have given statements and admitted they went to the school armed with carpenter knives to vandalize the buses.

The major repairs were taping seats that were slashed in 15 buses and rounding up replacements for driver seat belts that were cut. The buses' contractor, C & S Transit of Kingsport, pulled seat belts from spare buses in Johnson City and Washington County to make the repairs.

The teens broke headlights on one bus, sprayed another down with a fire extinguisher. They also removed items from some buses, but left them behind when an officer interrupted the vandals during his patrol check.

"Something happening all the sudden with that many buses kind of put us in a bind," Copas said. "I've seen vandalism before, but nothing on that scale."

"We got most of them going yesterday, and they worked last night and got some more going. We're up and running right now, and pleased about it."

According to the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office, an officer making a routine patrol check saw two white males near the buses at 2:39 a.m. Wednesday.

Recommended for You

    Kingsport Times News Videos