Portsia Smith covers Louisa County crime and news.
Teens charged in Louisa vandalism identified
Two Orange County teenagers charged in the Louisa County High School vandalism were identified today.
Michael Dow, 18, of Locust Grove; Corey James Oakes, 18, of Rhoadesville; and a 17-year-old male are each charged with misdemeanor vandalism. Charges are pending against a fourth 17-year-old. All four are students at Orange County High School.
According to the Louisa County Sherif’s Office, Louisa school officials reported last Friday that their football field, scoreboard, bleachers and press box had been spray-painted with graffiti just hours before Louisa was to host rival Orange in both team’s first football game of the season. Louisa won that contest 48-21.
Maj. Donald Lowe of Louisa’s sheriff’s office said “typical high school rivalry stuff” was spray-painted on the property. One example was “This is Orange Country.”
“The vandalism extended beyond mere mischief since permanent structures were tagged and the field itself is recognized as one of the top in the nation,” Louisa Detective Scott Renalds said in a news release today. “The timing of this act demonstrated complete disregard for the community, as the high school was severely damaged by the recent [Aug. 23] earthquake. This football game would have been the first opportunity for students and parents to experience a somewhat normal school function following the quake.
The Louisa and Orange sheriff’s offices, along with school officials, worked together to investigate and identify the four suspects. Early on, they believed the incident to be related to the long-standing rivalry between the two schools.
“Orange County residents also suffered effects of the earthquake and the two communities worked together to demonstrate not only that it is unacceptable to turn competitiveness into senseless property damage, but that we all value our communities’ health far above any friendly sports rivalry,” Renalds said.
Orange Superintendent Bob Grimesey expressed yesterday that the students may also face school disciplinary action.