FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Bishop Dwenger High School is looking to press criminal charges after the visitor bleachers at the school’s new stadium were vandalized Friday night, according to principal Jason Schiffli.
Students at Bishop Dwenger arrived to clean up the field Saturday morning as they always do and found the damage, said Schiffli during a phone interview with WANE 15.
According to Schiffli, bolts and nuts that support the bleacher crossbeams were removed, compromising the bleachers. The school has put caution tape around the damaged bleachers as a safety precaution for visitors.
Multiple dark burn stains were visible on the bleachers from what looks like someone taking lighter fluid and lighting things on fire, added Schiffli who provide WANE 15 with pictures.
Foot plates are missing and bent, bleachers are bent, and a standing bar is also missing. All the damage could total up to tens of thousands of dollars, according to Schiffli. He believes the students and people responsible knew what they were doing.
“This is a premeditated criminal act done by people who think it’s okay to act out these ideas and these thoughts and it’s very twisted,” Schiffli said. “I want this to get out so other students and other people who think the same way will now start thinking twice about this because we are going to press charges.”
Bishop Dwenger played host to Homestead High School at Shields Field on Friday. Schiffli tells WANE 15 the bleachers were in perfect condition before the game. From video he has seen on social media, Schiffli believes Homestead students could be responsible for the damage, but is waiting for police to confirm if that is the case.
WANE 15 reached out to Homestead High School. Principal Dr. Park Ginder issued the following statement:
“Homestead High School administrators have been in contact with school officials at Bishop Dwenger High School after reports of bleacher damage surfaced following last night’s football game. We are committed to working with Dwenger staff as the investigation continues.”
Schiffli said Fort Wayne Police was at the field Saturday completing a police report and are investigating.