Three Warren County teenagers are in trouble with the law this morning, after being found with weapons in their school lockers.
The teens were busted after authorities got a tip to search their lockers. They did, and among the things they found: a scalpel, brass knuckles, and a homemade weapon, called a "smiley." It is a padlock at the end of a bandana or chain, and kids swing it around.
As NEWS10's John Craig reports, it is just another way kids are smuggling weapons into school.
We were able to find several animations and pictures of "smiley's" on Internet blogs, illustrating locks on the end of chains, or on the end of a bandana. There are even definitions in chat rooms.
However, a "smiley" will definitely not make you smile. That is what was found in a locker at Warrensburg Junior/Senior High School. A 15-year-old was charged with having that, and a knife in his locker. His case was sent to Family Court.
Another 15-year-old had the makings of a "smiley" - a bandana and lock, but it was not put together. The school is disciplining him.
And the Warren County Sheriff's Department is charging 16-year-old Kelby Hahn with criminal possession of a weapon. The sheriff says he had metal knuckles in his locker.
"There was a scalpel that had been stolen from the biology lab," says Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland. "And, of course, these are weapons that can cause serious injury and actually death. And we jump on these things quickly in a school environment in particular."
Reports are these kids may be part of a bigger movement, called the "Chaos Crew," which has specialized in general vandalism, including graffiti.
"And we're going to crack down on it," Sheriff Cleveland says. "In fact, we're going to crack down (on) the Warrensburg community the next couple months to make sure this is not something that escalates and gets much worse."
School officials, including the Sheriff's office school resource officer James Fidd, searched a number of lockers, but only found contraband in three of them.
Sheriff Cleveland did say they have had trouble in the past six-months, and will continue to work to control it.
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