Agreement reached in apparent vandalism of Bishop Dwenger bleachers

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A resolution between Bishop Dwenger High School and Homestead High School has been reached in the case concerning vandalized bleachers at Dwenger’s new football stadium.

What the agreement is and what consequences were rendered is not known, however.

It was Sept. 14 when Dwenger Principal Jason Schiffli told WANE 15 that the the visitor bleachers at his school’s new stadium had been damaged the night before, during the home Saints’ game with the Homestead Spartans. The damage was believed to have been caused by fire or chemicals, and bolts were said to have been removed by visiting Homestead High School students. Bleacher seats, foot plates, and fencing were bent and missing, as well.

Videos posted on social media showed what appeared to be certain Homestead students celebrating at least part of the damage.

The day after the game, Schiffli called the apparent vandalism “a premeditated criminal act” and “very twisted.” He said he filed a report with the Fort Wayne Police Department and pledged to seek criminal charges against those responsible for the damage.

Homestead’s student section issued an apology in the days that followed.

Photo courtesy Bishop Dwenger High School

Later on in the investigation, Schiffi learned that part of the damage was not caused by students, or anyone else. Schiffli said he learned from bleacher maker Southern Bleacher that the dark, charred-looking marks on the bleacher floors was actually caused by oxidation, not fire. He also said that bolts found under the bleachers may have been unused and left behind by contractors.

After that, Schiffli said that he retracted his allegations that the bleachers were burned, but said an investigation in the rest of the damage was ongoing. Homestead Principal Park Ginder said at the same time that the schools were working together and investigating.

That was that, and no other information has been released a month after the fact.

A spokesperson with the Fort Wayne Police Department told WANE 15 that no charges have been filed, but that an agreement between the two schools had been reached. Details of that were not disclosed by the department.

WANE 15 reached out to administrations from both Homestead and Dwenger, but neither side would comment about the agreement. Southwest Allen County Schools spokeswoman Stacy Fleming said that the district had no comment at this time. Schiffli has not returned numerous messages left with him.

WANE also asked Fleming about a change.org petition that calls for Homestead to restore student section videos on social media. The petition mentions “False Allegations @ Dwenger” which the petition says has “since been handled.” Fleming said that the petition stems from discipline that students received and that the school does not comment on discipline toward students.

If you have information on the development of this case, send us details through our Report It feature.

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