Several juveniles were detained after they broke into Aiken High School and vandalized the building on Wednesday night, according to the Aiken Department of Public Safety.
Officers received an anonymous report of vandalism at the school on Rutland Drive about 9 p.m. on Wednesday and began patrolling the school.
Police saw a group of subjects running inside the school near the cafeteria, according to an incident report. As they entered the cafeteria, they saw two or three people hiding behind a trash can in a small culvert leading to a classroom.
Officers approached the suspects at gunpoint and realized there were between eight and 10 people hiding in the culvert.
The suspects were all determined to be juveniles and were escorted outside when additional units arrived, the report stated. They told officers they were on the property for basketball practice, and initially no damage was located.
One suspect told an officer they entered the art room, which officers later found to be “completely destroyed,” the report stated.
Several paint containers had been thrown all over the room, art displays were destroyed and other items were thrown to the ground, according to the report.
Officers patrolling the rest of the building for damage located paint damage on some of the walls and walkways that was similar to that in the art room, police said. All of the juveniles were charged “initially” with second-degree burglary and malicious injury to real property with damage greater than $2,000 but less than $10,000.
At least two of the juveniles already were on trespass notice for all Aiken County Public Schools, and will be charged accordingly.