Update: New Football Field Vandalized, Suspect Turns Himself In

The suspect who vandalized the Catholic High football field turned himself in. Principal, Steve Straessle says, "The culprit is a 16 year-old male from a neighboring school who created a terrible act out of an otherwise great and storied school rivalry."

Catholic High is following through with its statement that it would not prosecute if the individual turned himself in prior to Friday.

This is the email sent to Catholic High parents Wednesday:

The individual faces several consequences as determined by the Catholic High School administration:

  1. He will make full restitution for repair of the field.
  2. He will give back to the community he took from by performing community service in the form of manual labor on the Catholic High campus.
  3. He will write a 5 page essay about Fr. Tribou. The essay will be graded by the Catholic High English department. If the boy receives anything below an A, the boy will re-write the essay and include an oral presentation as well.

One of the primary goals of Catholic High is to provide an avenue of redemption when boys go astray. Certainly, there are some strong feelings relative to this act of vandalism but none of those feelings supersede the fact that every boy, when possible, should be given the opportunity to recognize his fault, to apologize, to make amends, and, ultimately, to move on as a better young man. Once this young man fulfills the above stipulations, Catholic High will be satisfied and will move on as well. In the end, the young man did the right thing in the face of much public scrutiny and we wish to underscore the fact that there is never - never - a bad time to do the right thing.

We sincerely appreciate the administration of Central High School and their student body for their support and kindness throughout this event. ###

September 4, 2012:

(KATV) Little Rock - High school rivalry may have been taken too far over the weekend. Catholic High's newly renovated football field has been vandalized and they've announced a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest.

The team practiced on the football field Saturday morning, so it likely happened sometime that evening or Sunday. Even if it was meant to be a prank, Little Rock Police are investigating and Catholic High leaders want someone held accountable.

Catholic High had a dedication Wednesday for the new artificial turf field. Workers are underway on finishing touches, but now have a foul to deal with. Principal Steve Straessle says, "This has been just a huge labor for us, a lot of time, effort and people sacrificed a lot to build this field so we were appalled to see it had been vandalized already."

Monday morning, staff noticed yellow graffiti on the field. There is a score of 24 to 10 written on the field, representing catholic's loss to a Little Rock team on Friday. There's also a derogatory image directed at the late Father Tribou. He was an iconic figure at the school for fifty years, known for his disciplinary actions and cigars. "Especially cruel, especially cruel and it's something that has sunk pretty deep for us and we won't be letting this go," Straessle adds.

Some estimates to clean the field are as high as $10,000 and require cutting that area out of the new synthetic field grass.

Straessle has walked these halls for decades, first as a student. He says pranks have always been fun and simple, but this is on a criminal level. "We have no idea who did this. We are not pointing any fingers at anybody right now. We're just trying to do our homework and make sure we get the right person so this sort of thing doesn't happen again."

The reward has been set by the school at $2,500. Straessle has been in touch with other high school administrations.

There are security cameras on campus, but Straessle says they plan to get camera's overlooking the field. In fact school officials got an estimate just last week.

As a precaution on game night Friday, Straessle had an off-duty officer stay until about 1 a.m., but the vandalism happened a day later.

The football field will have a gate.