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Wild night leads to minor’s arrest, damage to center

SoVaNow.com / April 17, 2013
What started as an alumni reunion in Clarksville for former members of Mecklenburg, Halifax and Charlotte high schools ended Sunday with the arrest of a juvenile offender and moderate damages to the Clarksville Community Center.

The minor was charged with assault, larceny, disorderly conduct and underage possession of alcohol.

Around 12:20 a.m. on April 14, Clarksville Police Officer Andy Elliott responded to a complaint of a fight in progress with shots fired in the parking lot of the Clarksville Community Center. Elliott, with the assistance of Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Deputies, cleared the scene, but while doing so, Elliott was approached by a person who claimed to have been assaulted and had a cell phone stolen.

Elliott did not find evidence to substantiate that a gun was discharged at the site.

During the investigation of the first incident, Elliott received a second call reporting a holdup in progress at the Circle K Convenience Store on Highway 15 north of town.

According to police reports, Elliott determined there was no evidence of a holdup. Instead, several people were in the parking lot yelling and causing a disturbance. At least some of the people at the Circle K were previously at the Clarksville Community Center. This scene was also cleared, and the cell phone allegedly taken from the victim at the Clarksville Community Center was recovered from a minor. The phone was later returned to its owner.

The youth was arrested and taken to a juvenile detention center in Danville.

Clarksville police are continuing to investigate this matter.

On Monday, Clarksville Police received a follow-up complaint that the Community Center had been vandalized. The interior of the center, which was recently painted under the auspices of the Clarksville Ruritan Club, “looks like it suffered from five years of wear and tear,” said Town Manager Jeff Jones. “There are at least three small holes in the wall and scratches and scuff marks on the newly painted surfaces.”

Jones, a former Ruritan President who was involved in raising funds to build the community center, called the damage “very disconcerting. This building is a vital part of our community.”

Jones said he was particularly bothered by the fact that damage occurred soon after the Clarksville Ruritan Clubs paid to paint the interior spaces. “They take great pride in that building and the work done to maintain it. Our goal is to make the necessary repairs without burdening either the town or the Ruritans.”

He estimated the cost of repairs at less than $1,000, and he has been in contact with those who rented the Community Center for the reunion. They have agreed to pay for repairs to the building, including repainting where necessary, said Jones.

Jones said he will be reviewing the incident before making recommendations to Council on ways to prevent repeat occurrences.

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I suggest that Clarksville be more careful in who they rent the center to. It would be nice if they required security for parties. I am truly afraid that someone is going to get hurt over there.


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