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Crawford man arrested, 4 juveniles charged in Valley Mills football field vandalism

Valley Mills Vandalism.JPG
Posted at 6:15 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 21:35:52-04

WACO, Texas — The Valley Mills Police Department was investigating vandalism that left, now professionally estimated, $18,250 in damage to the Valley Mills High School track and football field.

In a recent update, the police department said five individuals have cooperated and issued individual apologies publicly in front of a crowd that included the Valley Mills ISD School Board Members, on Wednesday, Aug. 25.

According to Valley Mills police, one of the five perpetrators is 17-years of age, but the remaining four were all identified as juveniles. The adult male was identified as Austin James Merenda of Crawford.

The Valley Mills ISD Superintendent requested on behalf of the Valley Mills ISD School Board, for this case to be presented to the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office. The four juveniles and their parents were processed at the McLennan County Juvenile Justice Center in Waco on Monday.

"In addition, a warrant was obtained for the arrest of Austin Merenda from the McLennan County Precinct 4 Justice Court in McGregor," said the police department.

Merenda complied with a self-surrender this past Monday, in coordination with Chief of Police, Roy Fikac, and was brought before McLennan County Justice of the Peace Brian Richardson.

Merenda was then escorted to McLennan County Jail, with a bond set at $3,000.

All five have been charged with criminal mischief, over $750 but less than $30,000, a state jail felony.

As of Wednesday, this case was filed with the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office in Waco for further review.