April 20, 2014

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Police order extra patrols at Marion L. Steele after prank

AMHERST – Police ordered extra patrols at Marion L. Steele High School after a person in costume was seen at the school, an incident police later learned was part of a prank.

At 3:41 p.m. May 20, Principal Michael Gillam called police to notify officers about an “odd occurrence” at the school, according to a police report.

Gillam told police that between 7 and 7:20 a.m. that day, a person dressed in a tight black body suit, walking on what appeared to be prosthetic drywall or painter stilts, entered the school and threw individually wrapped straws on the floor. The person, who was completely covered by the body suit, entered through the front door of the building and later the south lobby doors and the cafeteria doors.

Gillam told police he was concerned about the event, as there had been no admission that it was a senior prank and the prank usually takes place on Thursday or Friday of the last week of school.

As a result of the incident, Amherst police officers set up extra patrols near the school and monitored social media websites.

Police later learned from other students that an 18-year-old student was responsible for the prank.

On May 21, the student was contacted by police, and he initially denied any part of the incident. The boy’s mother told police, however, that her son was involved, but he was scared after talking to officials, according to the police report.

Police told the boy that all the straws needed to be picked up or he could face criminal charges. School officials were notified about the boy’s involvement.

  • agent5959

    Why were cops involved? Why was he threatened with criminal charges? What is the purpose of increased patrols?

    The headline shouldn’t be about the harmless prank, which doesn’t raise to the level of local interest, but should be “Police and School Officials Overreact to Prank.”

    • Angela Marie

      accept, they did not know it was a prank, and they did what they needed to do, to make sure the students were safe. If my child was in that school and the school officials saw something strange or unusual without documenting it i’d be livid. Especially if something bad did happen. Because in the world we live in now, anything is possible.

      • 546+4654

        learn how to spell….it’s except, not accept.

        • Bill Willis

          What are you the grammar police? Get a life.

      • agent5959

        You don’t tell everyone you’re about to pull a prank. That’s not how pranks worked when you and I were in high school, and it’s still not how it works. Fifteen years ago, nobody would have been “livid” about this… we overreact to everything now.

  • johns62

    Glad Gilliam’s day is nearly done. He wasnt a positive influence on MLS.

  • Just saying

    The l on Learn should have been capitalized. Just saying!