Sunday, August 16, 2009

Gang members target School for the Deaf

Gang members target School for the Deaf

$55,000 and counting is the grand total for all the damage done at a Mesa school, according to administrators.

Police said there were four separate break-ins between June and July.

"I received a phone call about the damage and I was shocked," said Dr. Angel Ramos, superintendent and principal at the Sequoia School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, near U.S 60 and Horne.

The destruction includes painted computers, floors and walls along with ripped out and damaged equipment.

But the worst part for the school is the damage done to all of the video phones.

"It's very precious to us because that's how deaf people communicate," said Ramos. "And it's expensive; video phones cost about $900.

There are six schools on the Sequoia Campus in Mesa.

The Principal of Sequoia Secondary, Ryan LoMonaco said what they can't get back is all of the personal items teachers had inside their classrooms.

"I would say about half of the stuff was teachers' personal items that insurance will not cover," said LoMonaco.

School starts on August 10th and adminstrators said they will be prepared.

Police said one juvenile and three men are behind bars for the crime.

They include 22-year-old Russell Wesergard, 20-year-old Raymond Steele and 18-year-old Levi Blanton.

Police said they are all known gang members called "Juggalos."

If you would like to help the school recover from the $40,000 out-of-pocket deductibles, just go to their website.