Vandalism may be linked to EHS game

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
Unruly behavior at the Elizabethton High School homecoming football game Friday night may have led to an incident of vandalism at a nearby church which left a religious statue toppled.
According to reports, Father Dennis Kress of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, 514 W. C St., reported to Elizabethton Police Department Sgt. Roger Crowe on Saturday that sometime between 7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. the night before someone had vandalized a statue of Mary which is located at the northwest corner of the property.
The concrete statue, which is five feet tall, was held in place by a steel re-bar, according to a report by Crowe. The statute had been pushed over and a portion of the brick retaining wall was damaged. A total of approximately $200 worth of damage was done by the vandalism.
"There was a football game (Friday night), close by, and they had some trouble there," Crowe states. "(There is a) possibility that some disgruntled fan did the vandalism."
The trouble the officer referenced was an incident where a 16-year-old male juvenile was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after he reportedly caused a disturbance at the EHS game.
EPD Ptl. Mike Commons was working at the game when he observed a crowd beginning to gather near the visitor side concession stand. While responding to that scene, the officer noticed "body language associated with the beginnings of a fight," he said in a police report.
"Upon officers arrival the fans from Greeneville left the scene and returned to their section of the stands. One individual was determined to be the main aggressor, identified as (the juvenile), who refused to leave the area until his peers pulled him away," Commons stated.
"(The juvenile) returned to the concession area on three occasions and after repeatedly being told to leave (he) became aggressive towards officers and the crowd that was beginning to gather. (The juvenile) was yelling obscenities and 'you better shoot me'. At this time (he) was placed under arrest for his safety and the safety of others."
The juvenile was then charged with disorderly conduct and taken to the Elizabethton Police Department where he was released into the custody of his mother.
"While at the football game Elizabethton High School Principal Ed Alexander suspended (the juvenile) and stated that they would take care of it at school," Commons said.