ST. THOMAS — A concerning event unfolded on a St. Thomas high school premises on Monday afternoon. Authorities were alerted to the school around 1:30 p.m. following reports of a theft incident on school grounds.
On arrival, officers connected with school administrators and a sophomore student. The sophomore recounted an unsettling episode that had transpired roughly an hour prior, in which he was reportedly confronted by a senior student, who is 18 years or older. The latter allegedly demanded the sophomore’s gold chain, scouring his pockets and intimidating him with coarse language. Given the senior’s rumored history of aggressive behavior towards peers, the younger student revealed the location of his chain – in the front section of his backpack. Following this, the senior allegedly extracted both the gold chain and a bracelet from the bag.
The sophomore shared with the officers that the chain was a gift from his mother, recognizing his academic progress. The bracelet, he mentioned, was a memento from a relative. For verification purposes, authorities were provided with older pictures of the young boy donning the jewelry.
Following the incident, the senior was questioned by school personnel about the jewelry’s location. He coordinated the return of the items by getting the current holder to bring them back to the school.
Subsequent to the recovery of the items, the senior was taken into custody, facing charges of first-degree assault, third-degree theft, and two allegations of major theft. Pending his advice of rights hearing, he was directed to the Bureau of Corrections.
In a recent court hearing on Wednesday, Magistrate Simone VanHolten-Turnbull deemed sufficient grounds to validate all the charges against the student. The magistrate stipulated a portion of his $25,000 bail, setting it at $500, to be posted for his pre-trial release.
Upon meeting the bail terms, the defendant is bound by certain conditions. He is required to continue his education at his present school or, if expulsion ensues, coordinate with the appropriate departments for alternate educational solutions. He is also mandated to stay within the St. Thomas/St. John region and report to the probation department bi-weekly.
His subsequent court date is marked for September 8.