Kennedy Charter School on Charlotte’s south side has had some vandalism problems lately, mainly smashed in bus windows. But on Sunday, at least three Canada geese were also injured. Police have charged two male juveniles with animal cruelty in the attacks and additional charges are expected thanks in part to the maintenance director who acted as the school’s sleuth.
Charles Battaglia is in charge of Kennedy Charter’s facilities. In the past month, he’s had to clean up several broken windows and get new ones. So Monday he was already frustrated when things got even worse. Every single window of one bus was smashed to bits.
Battaglia went to the security camera, but didn’t think it would be much help, since it was mounted so far from the bus. But he was wrong. As expected, grainy figures emerged.
“I noticed them starting to break windows,” says Battaglia.
Then he realized they also attacked the geese.
“I said, ‘What are these kids doing? Cause geese are running all over the place.'”
Then the vandals turned their attention to the school itself.
“They come around the building and they start smashing the building windows and I said, ‘whoa, look at this. I got some good pictures here.”
Finally, a breakthrough. They weren’t Kennedy students. He printed out a close- up.
“Well, I just walked around to the students, ‘Hey, anybody know this…?’ And that’s the way I was able to get a name. And with a name you just go to Facebook,” explains Battaglia.
He says resource officers at nearby schools helped identify most of the kids. CMPD would not release their names or the schools they attend. At least one goose has died. Two others are in good condition.