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Local teens arrested for Memorial vandalism

September 10, 2012

Four Big Spring teens were arrested this morning in connection with the recent vandalization of the local Vietnam Memorial.
According to law enforcement officials, the arrests included:
• Devan James Clark, 17, on charges of criminal mischief – damage to school, church or monument and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair.
• Anthony Alphonso Lewis, 17, on a charge of criminal mischief – damage to school, church or monument.
• Nicholas Lee Sharp, 17, on charges of criminal mischief – damage to school, church or monument and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair.
• Kevin Logan Towner, 17, on charges of criminal mischief – damage to school, church or monument and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair.
The vandalization of the Big Spring Vietnam Memorial is believed to have taken place the weekend of Aug. 25, according to reports issued by local law enforcement officials, with the damage limited mainly to the AH-1 “Apache” helicopter and the Fallen Soldier Memorial case.
Everett said this morning some of the items taken have been recovered.
“Last weekend, around Sunday, Sept. 2, one of the members of the Vietnam Memorial Committee who takes care of the grounds discovered several items had been dropped off,” Everett said. “A white helmet, the mannequin's head, the flight suit the mannequin was wearing and the canteen from the memorial case were found, along with a note. The note said they were sorry for taking the items and didn't mean to offend anyone.”
Everett said the charges for tampering with evidence stems from the returned items.
“They wiped all of the items they returned down, getting rid of any fingerprints,” he said. “That's why they are being charged with tampering with evidence.”
As for the clock, which was believed to have contained radioactive material, Everett said it's still unclear at this time if the item was taken from the cockpit of the helicopter in the first place.
“All four suspects have told us they didn't take a clock from the helicopter,” Everett said. “Also, after talking with several of the officials from the Vietnam memorial Committee, none of them have been able to tell us with certainty the item was in the Apache at the time of the vandalization.”
All four suspects arrested are students at Big Spring High School, according to Everett, who added a Crimestoppers tip was what allowed law enforcement to break the case.
Bond had not been set at the time of this report. The suspects were expected to be booked into the Howard County Detention Center this afternoon.

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