Washington High School has been boarded up for over six years now. Plans to do something constructive to the SE Portland building, like turn it into a community center, have been put on hold (for a very long time). Community members have long lamented the graffiti on the empty 80-year-old building, worrying that more serious vandalism would come—and now it has.
This morning at 3:20 am, a pair of vandals was caught setting fires and setting off fire extinguishers in the building.
On June 15th, 2010 at approximately 3:20 A.M., Portland Police responded to Washington High School, an abandoned school at 531 SE 14th Avenue, on a report of a possible break in. Officers arrived and noticed smoke emanating from the building The officers established a perimeter and began to check the premises with a K-9 unit. As officers searched the area two individuals attempted to flee the scene by jumping from a window. Officers were able to apprehend the suspects.
Officers began in investigation of the incident. It appears the suspects broke into the building and vandalized the premises, including lighting a fire in one area and setting off fire extinguishers. The two suspects [later identified as 24-year-old Andrew Call and 23-year-old Colin Hakes] were taken into custody for Reckless Burning and Burglary II. This incident is still under investigation.
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