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Criminal Mischief Charges Filed In School Of Mines Vandalism Case

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)- More than three months after two vandals broke into a research lab at the Colorado School of Mines, criminal charges against a student have been filed.

The Jefferson County District Attorney filed felony criminal mischief as well as misdemeanor reckless endangerment charges against one of the alleged suspects Friday, but an arrest warrant is still pending.

Overnight on July 4, two men broke into the General Research Lab (GRL) causing nearly $1 million in damage. Campus police said the suspects turned on chemical showers on the third floor and it wasn't discovered until nine hours later.

Vandalism (2)
(credit: CBS)

"The water ended up flooding the entire building," William Moore, a graduate student researching nuclear physics at the GRL, said Friday. "It came down through the walls. It was in the ceilings. There was several inches of water on my floor."

Moore said little has been told to students and faculty at the school regarding the summer crime and he is frustrated no one is in custody.

"The whole thing is ludicrous to me," Moore said. "You've got a lot of students that are trying to get an education in some kind of science or engineering field and try to give something back to the community or world in the work they do. For some kids that are supposed to be trying to do the same thing to come in here and destroy things is unfathomable."

Vandalism (1)
(credit: Colorado School of Mines Police)

Two days after the vandals broke in campus police said two men came forward claiming to be the suspects seen in the surveillance video. However, those two men were only named "persons of interest" and no suspects were ever named or arrested. In August, a spokesperson for the school said they requested criminal charges be filed against one of its students, but no explanation was given as to why they were seeking charges against only one person.

More than a month later, the Jefferson County DA filed charges against that student. Moore wants to see two people held responsible for the crime that destroyed work he and other researchers spent countless hours on.

A suspect (credit: CBS)

"I think if they have evidence that two people were here in the building and that is what they're basing the charges off of, then I don't understand how not only one of them could be at fault and the other one couldn't, but how they could prove that one of them was doing anything that the other one wasn't,
Moore said.

A spokesperson for the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office said they are waiting for a judge to sign off on the arrest warrant which could happen next week.

A suspect (credit: CBS)

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now reports for CBS4 News at 10 and is always open to story ideas. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.

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