Police: Teen arrested in SHS field damage case was passenger

The 18-year-old male arrested last week for allegedly damaging playing fields at Shelton High School was a passenger in a vehicle and not the driver, according to police.

Eric Howard, 18, of Beardsley Road was charged May 24 with first-degree criminal mischief and simple trespass. He was released on a written promise to appear in court on June 7.

Police said May 29 that Howard was not the driver but was inside a vehicle being driven by another individual, who is a minor (under age 18). The minor also was charged with first-degree criminal mischief and simple trespass in the incident, police said.

A report in this week’s Shelton Herald print edition had indicated Howard was the driver, based on information provided to the newspaper by the police at the time.

The names of minors arrested as suspects are not public information, due to state law.

“These are good kids” who made a mistake, said a family member of the adult who was arrested.

What took place at Shelton High

According to police, officers received a call just before 10 p.m. on May 24 of a suspicious vehicle at 120 Meadow St., which is the address of the high school.

A Ford Explorer allegedly was driven by the minor on the softball and baseball fields, causing some damage.

Police said the extent of the damage to the fields couldn’t be determined at the time of the arrests due to the darkness and wet conditions.

While not downplaying the incident, the family member said the damage was not as extensive as presumed at first, and family members have helped repair the damage.

According to state law, first-degree criminal mischief involves causing $1,500 or more of damage to someone else’s property. State statutes also include criminal mischief degrees in the second ($250 or more), third (no dollar amount) and fourth (fire hydrants or public safety alarms).

The two individuals involved are expected to face disciplinary action by school officials as well.