Senior Prank Lands Valley Students Behind Bars, Costs Them Graduation Walk

Four students are accused of gluing shut several locks at La Quinta High School and causing thousands of dollars in damages.

Two of four students who allegedly put glue on door locks at La Quinta High School as part of a senior prank were behind bars Friday.

Three 18-year-old boys and a 17-year-old boy were arrested this week following Riverside County sheriff's detectives' investigation into vandalism that happened Monday at the school, sheriff's Sgt. Alan Northrup said.

"Several students placed glue in nearly all of the door locks at the school as part of an apparent 'senior class prank,' " Northrup said. "The outcome of this vandalism has caused thousands of dollars in damage to the school's property."

Arrested were:

  • Joseph Barnum, 18, of La Quinta, conspiracy, felony vandalism and possession of cocaine;
  • Steven Jimenez, 18, of La Quinta, conspiracy and felony vandalism;
  • Jose Requeno, 18, of Indio, conspiracy and felony vandalism; and
  • A 17-year-old boy, conspiracy and felony vandalism.

The 17-year-old, whose name was withheld because of his age, also will be charged out of custody, Northrup said.

Barnum posted a $10,000 bond Friday and is due in court in August. Jimenez and Requeno are both being held in lieu of $10,000 bail -- Jimenez at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning and Requeno at the county jail in Indio -- and are expected to be arraigned at Indio's Larson Justice Center on Monday, according to jail records.

"The La Quinta Police Department has zero tolerance for 'pranks' that cause injury to people or damage someone's property. These actions are crimes that will be fully investigated by police," Northrup said.

Sherry Johnstone, assistant superintendent for personnel at Desert Sands Unified School District, said the alleged vandalism was an "open and ongoing police investigation, so we do not move forward as a district to discuss possible disciplinary action until the police finish their case."

She confirmed that the accused students didn't attend Thursday's commencement.

"Walking in graduation is a privilege to be earned," she wrote in an email.

 – City News Service.

Gene Brown June 07, 2014 at 11:05 AM
Messican Family Values as usual
Steven Narbonne June 07, 2014 at 09:13 PM
Gene Brown, That is below the belt. This has nothing in common with Hispanic values. But the arrests serve them right and they should have to pay full restitution and court costs.
JMarsh June 08, 2014 at 01:59 PM
Steven, I agree with you. They should have to pay for repairing the damage. If they or their families cannot afford to pay, then they should be put to work to pay for their stupidity!


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