Mountains

Vandals target SWOS

By Michael Maresh Journal staff writer

Two men were arrested on a variety of charges after breaking into the Southwest Open Charter School and vandalizing the school on Nov. 30.

Johnathan Paul Snow, 20, of Cortez and Daylen Roy Oran, 18, of Dove Creek were arrested on two counts of second-degree burglary, criminal mischief and damage to public property.

Cortez Police officer Yvonne McClellan at 4 a.m. on Nov. 30 responded to the school for a report of a fire alarm sounding in the lobby of west building.

According to McClellan's police report, she said she noticed what appeared to be smoke coming out of the front door.

McClellan said that the door was slightly ajar, and the window of the door was broken out.

McClellan said upon entering the room she saw a yellow plastic chair and a fire extinguisher lying in the hallway.

Cortez Fire Chief Jeff Vandevoorde said his department responded and said there was no fire in the building after determining that the fire alarm was caused by someone using the fire extinguisher in the building that resulted in a haze in the air.

McClellan reported that she saw the effects of the discharged fire extinguisher in the room.

She said the hallway and the main room were coated in a thick film from the fire extinguisher discharge but noticed no other damage.

While clearing the west building, McClellan was informed by Montezuma County Sheriff's deputies that a building to the east also sustained damage.

She said while walking to the east building she noticed a beer can lying in the volleyball sandpit next to some tire tracks.

The glass of the front door of the east building was also broken from the outside, and an orange planter laying on the front deck appeared to be the weapon used to break the window as the rest of the plant and planter was inside the front door.

McClellan did not enter the east building but was able to see through the broken glass door and reported that everything in the building had been turned over or damaged.

A hanging plant was ripped out of the wall and thrown across the room, two wooden bookcases had been turned over and were broken and a desk and computer were also turned over.

McClellan said it was hard to determine if anything had been stolen because of the disarray of the room.

The police department is to receive an itemized list of damaged and stolen property from the school administration at a later time.

The Cortez Police Department on Friday said the incident is still under investigation.

michaelm@cortezjournal.com

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