"It looked like a tornado had hit it," said chief custodian Thomas Blackwell, describing the damage left by vandals who broke into Moten Elementary School in Anacostia Monday night. "There were overturned desks, smashed flower pots, broken windows in pratically every classroom."
Two adults and three juveniles were arrested as they left the school with school property. They were charged with burglary and vandalism of $15,000 worth of equipment and property at school, D.C. police said. The school is at Morris and Elvans roads SE.
Police recovered most of the stolen items, including several movie projectors, tape recorders, record players, food and children's clothing.
The vandals smashed 75 windows and left trails of paper in hallways, tumbled furniture and overturned lockers and file cabinets in all but three of the 65 classrooms. They also shattered 65 athletic trophies in the principal's office, school officials, said.
A 30-man custodial crew started the cleanup about 4 a.m. When school opened, a few ripped door frames and gaping holes in most classroom doors were the only evidence the school's 1,100 youngsters saw of the night's events.
Late yesterday afternoon Dominic Angino, acting safety and security director for D.C. public schools, said he still was trying to determine why the school's burglar alarm system had not worked.
About 1:30 a.m. police officers Alfred McMaster and Darryl Harrod saw two men hiding in bushes just across Elvans Road from the school, police said.
Although the men fled, the officers found some school property in the bushes. At the school the officers found a trash can, two adults and several other juveniles carrying other school property out the cafeteria door, police said.
Lloyd H. Kindred, 19, of 1550 Butler St. SE, and Dereck Fickling, 20, of 2301 Pitts St. SE, were arrested and charged with second-degree burglary, police said. Three juveniles, ages, 13, 14 and 15, were also arrested and charged, police said.