Vandalized Daphne Youth Center bus. The suspects caught on camera
DAPHNE, Ala. (WALA) – Staff from the Ruff Wilson Youth Organization found unexpected visitors on their bus on Thursday evening.
“We noticed a black car coming from around the bus. We did not know at the time when the damage had occurred,” said general manager Tracie Brown.
Site manager Sonya Smith says she went to see the bus but was greeted by billowing smoke when she opened the door.
“I really thought the bus was on fire but I didn’t see any flames,” Sonya Smith said. “I really thought someone had dropped a little bomb or something that I didn’t know was going on.”
Surveillance video shows two people exiting the back of the bus after police say they sprayed chemicals inside a fire extinguisher. In this photo you can see that one of them seems to be taking a video with his phone. While this image shows how many chemicals were sprayed. Executive Director Tracie Brown says she’s glad things haven’t gotten worse.
“What if it had happened where it would have entered his lungs or even their lungs. We may have had some insensitivity,” Brown said.
The Ruff uses this bus to bring children to and from the youth center for different extracurricular activities. Firefighters encouraged them not to get on the bus until the chemicals were cleaned up, so the bus has not been in use since last week.
“Fortunately, we have other vehicles to pick up our kids, but we have to make multiple deliveries to get our kids here,” Smith said.
Days later, staff and children are still wondering why this happened.
“It was just crazy to us why would you do this to us. Our kids have them, some even asked us why what happened,” Smith said.
Now they hope those involved will come forward.
“We would definitely embrace them, but there are consequences for your actions,” Brown said. “We can’t have them affect another organization like they did to us.”
Thanks to the community, The Ruff says they received enough money to clean the chemicals from the bus. They hope it will be finished on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Daphne PD says those responsible will be charged with criminal mischief. If you recognize anyone in the video, call Daphne Police at 251-620-0911.
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