By Ryan Lewallen, County 17
Two juvenile males now face felony charges after a late-night joy ride in a stolen pickup resulted in over $40,000 in damage to public and private property, authorities say.
Both were arrested at the Energy Capital Sports Complex (ECSC) last night around midnight, according to Gillette Police Lt. Kelly Alger, who added that the males had been sought after for a string of property damages to Fox Park earlier that same night.
Officers had been dispatched to Forge Court at 11:37 p.m. after a 26-year-old female reported seeing a white 2006 Chevrolet run into a portable toilet at Fox Park and drive through a fence in her backyard, where it proceeded to drive in circles, per Alger.
The portable toilet was pushed off its base and back approximately 25 yards into a field. The vehicle had also crashed into the Fox Park sign at the entrance to the playground.
At the park, officers recovered several alcohol bottles, broken glass, and a backpack, Alger said.
Officers were dispatched again 30 minutes later to the ECSC where witnesses reported seeing the pickup crash into a fence around the newly constructed splash pad area until the vehicle was no longer operational. The suspects then attempted to flee on foot.
When officers arrived, bystanders had taken a 14-year-old male suspect into custody, Alger said, adding that officers chased down and arrested a 16-year-old male suspect moments later.
The 16-year-old male fought with officers and was ultimately transported to the Campbell County Detention Center (CCDC). A third suspect managed to get away and has not yet been identified, per Alger.
The 14-year-old male told officers that his uncle had let him borrow the pickup but, when questioned further, became verbally combative.
He began to threaten law enforcement, ultimately claiming that he was going to kill them, Alger said, who further stated that the pickup was found to be stolen and the 14-year-old male was also transported to the CCDC.
In total, the damage to the pickup, the ECSC, and Fox Park is in excess of $40,000. The two juvenile males have been charged with felony conspiracy to destroy property and theft.
The 14-year-old male was also charged with being under the influence of drugs, according to arrest records provided by the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office.
Law enforcement will be seeking to identify and apprehend the third suspect in the coming days.