Vandalism Brings Abrupt Halt to AJHS Prom

17 cars reported as having one or more tires slashed in parking lot

By Dana Trumbull

On Saturday, May 11, the Apache Junction High School prom was cut short when it was discovered that multiple cars in the venue parking lot at Schnepf Farms had one or more tires slashed. Several cars were also keyed.

According to a letter sent home to parents on Tuesday, May 14, AJHS Principal Dr. Angela Chomokos stated, “At approximately 10:30 p.m., it was reported to one of the chaperones in the parking lot that a student’s tire had gone flat, and it appeared that it had a puncture in the side-wall.

“Upon further investigation, it was discovered that other vehicles had incurred the same vandalism. It was at this time further investigation took place and Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office (MCSO) was contacted. The AJUSD Transportation Department was also contacted and placed on stand-by in the event that we needed to transport students back to AJHS.”

Numerous rumors have spread about the incident, claiming that a student from a rival school had bragged on Snapchat that he and some friends were responsible; however, these rumors have not, as yet, been substantiated. According to MCSO Public Information Officer Michael Cavaiola, as of May 16, no suspects had been identified. “This incident is under active investigation. MCSO continues to gather information and evidence pertaining to the 17 criminal damage reports that occurred in the parking lot of the Schnepf Farm during the Apache Junction High School prom event on May 11 of this year.”

Some students and parents chose not to file charges, leading to speculation that as many as 30 cars were damaged.

“It is very unfortunate that any individual(s) would make the decision to destroy other people’s properties and mar this milestone event,” said Chomokos. “It deeply saddens me and the students who spent endless hours organizing, decorating and working to create this special event.”

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is encouraged to contact MCSO at 602-876-1011. Find out how to contact MCSO with a tip anonymously at https://www.mcso.org/Home/SendUsATip.

Photo above: The parking lot at Schnepf Farms was busy with tow trucks and parents coming to the aid of AJHS students after more than 17 cars were vandalized during the AJHS Junior/Senior Prom. Photo: Google.com/maps

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