Middle School Gym Vandalized; Suspects Caught

WINFIELD, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A middle school gym was made into a mess after three teenagers broke in early Saturday morning.

Vandals played a destructive game with golf clubs and archery equipment, Winfield Middle School P.E. teacher Beth Conner said.

"For his to happen, it actually made me cry this morning when I walked in," Conner said.

Computers were destroyed, shaving cream was sprayed through the gym office, and a vending machine was busted open.

The suspects also spilled water from a floor scrubbing machine onto the gym floor.

"They came in and dumped the water out of it,” Conner said. “The floor is grooved up. The finish is starting to flake off."

According to the Putnam County Sheriff's Department, an off-duty deputy who lives near the school saw the teens running from the building, caught them, found out what they'd been doing, and arrested them.

The principal says one of the suspects is 18 and was charged with vandalism, and the other two are 17 and were released to their parents.

Jim Thornton is the middle school basketball coach at Winfield and shares the vandalized office with Conner.

Both are mystified why anyone would do this.

"It was quite shocking to find out someone would go in, not to steal, but to vandalize and tear stuff up," Thornton said.

The Winfield Middle boys basketball team was supposed to host a tournament game at that gym Tuesday night. Now they'll have to move it to the high school auxiliary gym.

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