Vandals caught trashing Pavilion

County employees spent most of Wednesday at the Fairgrounds’ Pavilion cleaning up broken glass, spilled soap and fallen lights after a vandalism spree. - Photo by Sean Lamphere
County employees spent most of Wednesday at the Fairgrounds’ Pavilion cleaning up broken glass, spilled soap and fallen lights after a vandalism spree.
— image credit: Photo by Sean Lamphere

Two teenage males are facing charges of second-degree burglary, first-degree malicious mischief and second-degree arson after a vandalism spree during Wednesday’s early hours at the Fairgrounds caused an estimated $25,000 in damages.

“It is awful,” CK commissioner Patty Lent said Wednesday afternoon. “It was like a war zone. That’s beyond vandalism when you see that kind of destruction.”

The floor of the Pavilion was set up to host the Central Kitsap School District’s three graduation ceremonies this week and county workers had just finished cleaning up the building after North Mason High School had its graduation there Monday. According to Beverly Reeves, interim director of the county’s Facilities, Parks and Recreation Department, employees left the building at about midnight Tuesday.

According to a report from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, a call about a possible burglary at the Pavilion came in at approximately 2:30 a.m. When deputies arrived they found the front entrance area in shambles with lights, insulation and ceiling tiles pulled down, a newspaper box on fire, the Kitsap Credit Union’s ATM smashed and a number of broken windows on the entrance doors. After more deputies arrived they entered the building where they found two teenage males inside carrying metal pipes. The suspects were identified as Charles Ortenzi, 18, of East Bremerton and a 14-year-old who was reported missing from Daybreak Detention in Spokane. They were both charged in Kitsap County Superior Court on Wednesday.

Ortenzi was released on personal recognizance by Judge Russell Hartman after his bail was initially set at $40,000. When the Central Kitsap High School senior arrived on campus Thursday, district spokeswoman Melanie Reeder said he was immediately given an emergency expulsion because “he disrupted school activities and damaged school property.”

During the rampage the two damaged several drums belonging to the school district for use in the graduation ceremonies. “We scrambled and got the drums repaired and the bands are going to use them,” Reeder said on Thursday morning.

Ortenzi was not going to take part in yesterday’s graduation ceremony because, according to Reeder, he lacked the required number of credits. His expulsion will remain in place until the criminal investigation is completed.

In addition to the drums, the sheriff’s reports state the pair broke a number of interior windows, a television, a VCR, a telephone, all of the balcony and kitchen lights and bathroom mirrors, and took down all the restroom signs (which were found on the juvenile suspect). They also spread soap all over the stairs, smashed up a vending machine and damaged the county’s sound equipment.

“They had to be on a rampage,” Reeves said.

But with graduations looming, Reeves said the county’s staff were summoned at 7 a.m. Wednesday to clean up the mess and get the Pavilion back in usable shape, a job that ended up taking 80 man hours.

“We have an amazing staff,” Reeves said, noting 21 employees, including maintenance staffers and custodians, were brought in. “They just piled right in. They need a pat on the back and recognition they did a great job. Everyone did everything they could to make this happen.”

She said she wasn’t happy to hear that Ortenzi was released without bail. “We were disappointed to hear he got out,” Reeves said. “We take this personally to make this property nice.”

Smash it up

According to Kitsap County Sheriff's reports, here's the list of $25,000 in damages believed to be caused by a pair of vandals during Wednesday's early morning hours. According to Beverly Reeves, the county's interim director for Facilities, Parks and Recreation, the estimate to repair the broken glass alone was $3,800.

Pavilion Entry

Nine double-pane entry and lobby door windows destroyed

Approximately 40 ceiling tiles with support grids pulled down, along with overhead insulation

Display screen on Kitsap Community Federal Credit Union ATM machine destroyed

Overhead lights pulled down and destroyed

Kitsap Sun newspaper vending machine knocked over and interior contents set on fire

Pavilion Interior

Six office windows shattered

Telephone destroyed

Video cassette recorder destroyed

Wall clock destroyed

Mounted television in conference room damaged

Holes knocked into interior drywall

Office safe damaged

Broken fluorescent lights in kitchen

All mirrors broken in balcony level restrooms

Restroom signs removed (later found on juvenile suspect)

All balcony lights destroyed

Eight illuminated exit sign lights destroyed

Pavilion Floor

Sound equipment removed from stage and thrown on floor (speakers, etc.)

Sound amplifier damaged

Candy vending machine glass shattered, candy taken

Soft drink vending machine damaged

Stage podium broken into pieces and thrown onto floor

Drum heads on band timpani drums punctured

Drum head on band bass drum punctured

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