Juveniles Break In and Damage Emily C. Watkins Elementary

Published 10:53 am Saturday, September 3, 2022

Five juveniles, along with a 21-year-old male, all from LaPlace, have been arrested after deputies began investigating a complaint of vandalism of Emily C. Watkins Elementary School in LaPlace.
Arrested were Desmond Kelson Jr., 21; three male juveniles, ages 14, 15, and 17; and two female juveniles, both 15.
On Monday, August 8, 2022, the St. John Sheriff’s Office received a report that several classrooms had been vandalized. Upon arrival, officers discovered smeared paint on the walls and floors of rooms and hallways. A vending machine had been flipped upside down; and rooms were ransacked with chips, sodas and cleaning liquid on counters and floors. A guitar was broken; and multiple fire extinguishers were deployed throughout the school.
Through investigation and SJSO video surveillance, detectives developed the juveniles and Kelson as suspects.
Based on investigation, detectives obtained judicial warrants for the suspects’ arrests.
On August 25, 2022, Kelson was booked with unauthorized entry of a place of business (felony); and simple criminal damage to property – $1,000-$50,000 (felony). He is being held in custody in lieu of a $17,500 bond.
On August 30, 2022, the 17-year-old male was charged with unauthorized entry of a place of business (felony) and simple criminal damage to property $1,000-$50,000 (felony). He was released August 30, 2022.
On August 31, 2022, the 14-year-old male was booked with unauthorized entry of a place of business (felony) and simple criminal damage to property $1,000-$50,000 (felony); the two females were booked with unauthorized entry of a place of business (felony). They were released August 31, 2022 to their parents.
On September 1, 2022, the 15-year-old male was booked with unauthorized entry of a place of business (felony). He was released September 1, 2022 to his parents.