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Boys Arrested In Santa Rosa School Vandalism, Hamster Torture

SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – Five juveniles have been arrested in connection with a break-in at a school near Santa Rosa on Saturday in which classrooms were vandalized and a hamster was tortured and killed, a Sonoma County sheriff’s lieutenant said Tuesday morning.

The suspects, ages 11 to 14, broke into and vandalized a classroom at Northwest Prep, located at 2590 Piner Road in unincorporated Sonoma County west of Santa Rosa, Sgt. Mike Raasch said.

Two windows of an adjacent classroom were also broken, Raasch said.

The classrooms on the campus, formerly that of Piner Elementary School, are used for a YMCA after-school program, Raasch said.

The intruders turned over a refrigerator, broke windows, tagged the outside of the classroom with gang graffiti, tore up the school’s vegetable garden and tortured a pet hamster, Raasch said.

“It was bad. They did three different cruel things to it,” Raasch said.

A woman playing volleyball with her family at the school heard the sound of glass breaking around 7 p.m. Saturday and saw the juveniles running from the portable classrooms a short time later, Raasch said.

The woman investigated, saw the vandalism and called the sheriff’s office, Raasch said.

Sheriff’s deputies located and detained the juveniles at Sam Drive and Dayton Street within Santa Rosa city limits, and the woman identified some of them as the suspects, Raasch said.

The juveniles do not attend Northwest Prep School, Raasch said.

Two 11-year-old boys were arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism and released to their mothers, Raasch said.

Two 13-year-old boys and a 14-year-old boy were arrested for burglary and vandalism and booked into juvenile hall, Raasch said. The 13-year-old boys were also arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty, Raasch said.

Northwest Prep is in the Piner-Olivet Union School District and serves 143 students in grades 7-12, according to its website. Principal Keith Muelrath was not immediately available for comment.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

  • Trudy Sanders

    Straight to San Quentin. Animal torture is only the beginning.

    • Rudy

      Is this was under my power, I give this rotten kids death penalty, they are going to be serials killers, who need this type of garbage free on the street, they got no respect for living creatures

    • skye

      torturing animals is a prelude to far worse behavior…it needs to be punished and handled now….its NOT ok….

    • Cole

      I think that its excessive for the little ones. Its torture yes but these are lives of real people not hamster population. We need to help them not turn them into monsters by sending them to jail.. thats the problem in a country that has no community. Too many stupid rules and no moral codes. they are little boys and guess what, most little boys play rough like that all over the world. If only Americans travelled more and not through TV.

      • Heather

        Me! I totally and 100% agree with YOU!

      • Heather

        Um seriously? A life is a life and they should be punished severely! Not to only teach them wrong for the torture of this poor defensless animal but to keep them from doing worse to other animals and humans later in life. Little boys? They are WELL old enough to KNOW BETTER! However, the parents are resposible as well for not teaching morals and standards to these little monsters, and yes that is what they are! I hope they get the recieve the most harsh sentence punishable by law to teach them a lesson.

      • Me

        They’re already monsters. Cole. Stop justifing their behavior. I never did anything like that because it was obviously wrong and cruel. Nobody needed to tell me that. These kids are bad seeds, and the sooner they’re gone, the better the world will be.

      • dude

        Ok, Cole, lets let these “little ones” out, let them break into your house, torture your pets, if you have any, and see what you feel then.
        After all, its just boys being boys, right?

      • duh

        It is not excessive because they don’t learn from their mistakes if they don’t get an REAL punishment. Sending kids to time-out or standing at a corner as punishment never solves the problem. They will think that it is not severe and they will continue this ridiculous and stupid behavior upon society. That’s why American culture is stupid, allowing so many young kids go with a yell from the parents rather than real discipline. Get out of here man, GROW UP

      • T.Wilson

        They’re already monsters and ‘we” had nothing to do with the “turning”.
        No community? Every time there’s a disaster our “community” is the one the world turns to for help you moron.

      • you're kidding me right?

        Cole, you are a complete idiot!!! This country has gone to s*$! because of bleeding heart liberals such as yourself. You can’t turn someone (even a kid) into a monster by sending them to jail if they already are one. I grew up with 7 brothers and guess what…. not one of them got off by torturing and killing animals. They were busy riding bikes, playing football, and worrying about kissing girls which is whats normal for a young boy. I’m not sure what country you come from, but here in AMERICA “playing rough” by torturing animals is not acceptable! Kids that do that kind of stuff grow up to be serial killers man…

      • just me

        Remember that kids who torture animals usually grow up to torture and kill people. And the gang graffiti indicates that these “little boys” are already well on their way to “bigger and better” things.

      • vlad

        just do to them what they did to the hamster. An eye for an eye. Torturing of an animal is a pathology of the brain. It can be corrected only by an extra strong depressing stimuli, like very strong pain. If they aren’t punished to instill fear of repeating such an action in the future, these little monsters will remember only one thing – you can torture and get away unpunished.

        By the way, Cole, i’m not an American. The monsters like these ones do exist everywhere across the world, and like here they are a minority.

      • kevin

        Jeffrey Dahmer used to catch and kill cats when he was young. No big deal right? No big deal until they found human heads in his refrigerator.

        The problem isn’t with the kids, it is the fault of the parents (or lack thereof). It seems most of these kids are raising themselves on the streets, and another part of the problem is having idiots sympathize with kids rather than punish them.

      • Sean

        Cole, you are nuts. You need to have your head examined and yes, I have seen personally how people behave around the world, and it is not this way. I

      • Kevin Wallis

        your an idiot, i learned by the swift hand of my parents, and guess what, it was a lesson not soon forgotten. playing rough is a lot different then what they did. im sure they wont get jail time, and im betting they wont soon want to go back. Its the kids that torture animals that will soon want to try it on people, so why dont we move them in with you.

      • Stan

        I agree Cole. It’s bad, but not that bad unless it’s part of a pattern. Kids can be unthinkingly cruel in so many ways….what’s more important is that they are encouraged to learn some empathy for one’s fellow creatures…and probably not by getting abused in Juvinile hall.

      • TMom

        Chances are…if there’s a Penal Code associated with it, it is more than ‘playing rough.’

      • Lisa

        Cole don’t you know that most serial killers got their start by torturing and killing animals.

      • Anthony

        Playing rough!?!?!? Are you serious???? Playing rough is playing tackle football with no pads. Playing rough is NOT torturing an animal while breaking into a school!!!!!! I played rough as a little kid and it didn’t entail breaking and entering and killing animals! You are an idiot in the purest sense.

      • born in Hawaii also

        Hey Cole,

        I hve three things I’d like to do to you – of course these things won’t be too excessive either. Just call it playing rough with YOU.

  • Justin Lovessarahpalin M

    They need to punish these sick little SOB’s and not give them a slap on the hand…that’s whats wrong with society today…and the parents need to be held accountable as well…this is just plain disgusting ):

  • Tours Martel

    Parents, you say? The article says “released to their mothers”, another case of fatherless boys going bad. Family fragments are not a substitute for intact ones composed of a male father married to a female mother. Sorry if that offends some folks, but the numbers just don’t lie. Damaged family fragments produce damaged children, especially boys.

  • DJ

    Trudy is absolutely correct. Torturing and Killing an animal is just a start. Burglary and vandalism… They need to be in prison, no slap on the wrist. Of Course most parents will say not my son.

  • JoMama

    Of course the mothers will say, “He’s a good kid, he just got into the wrong crowd.”
    Let’s not forget Jeffrey Dahmer tortured small animals as a child too.

  • y0papa

    Now, Jeffrey Dahmers’ mom and dad were talking to the news after his arrest. They seem to have been married all the time he grew up. But then they didn’t tell his life story. And he went totally bad.

  • mike

    figures they are gangsters wth bad parents who probably don’t thnk twice about what they did to that animal

  • Rusty Nail

    The Police are very concerned about this as a gateway crime for serial killers. As stated in a previous comment. We had an incident like this in some apartments where I lived once. The result was the father, this boy was in a single parent home with his father, skipped town in the middle of the night so his 12 year-old son would not be taken away from him. It is not about single mothers.

  • mike

    ruthless baby g’s, thiis knd of behavior only adds to their creds unfortunately

  • Kennx7

    Anchor babies.. These are illegal mothers having kids in our borders in attempt to legally stay here..
    These boys had an alcoholic father back in Mexico who whipped them w/ belts in the name of punishment instead of just teaching them right from wrong. Than is why they felt the need to torture animals..

    • Marcella Maynard Thomason

      please direct me to where you obtained your information. I did not see any of that in the article above.

  • horse rider

    I don’t believe a slap on the wrist or sitting in a counselor’s air conditioned office talking about trivial subjects will bring it home to these boys. Eleven or 14, they were already part of a gang of boys. Mild remonstrations to “don’t do this” won’t work. As stated before, this is ust the beginning for them.

    I’m fine with letting them come play with my protection dog, say a game of chase where they get a 30 second head start.

  • Tammy

    Those who harm innocents whether it be animals, childen or even adults that are mentally incapciatated have no place on this earth, even if “children” are prepetuating the crimes. I believe that some souls are just born bad and therefore they do not have the capacity to understand the pain they cause by thier actions. Jeffrey Dahmer started off by torturing animals…and look what he ended up doing?

  • Tammy

    Those who harm innocents whether it be animals, childen or even adults that are mentally incapciatated have no place on this earth, even if “children” are prepetuating the crimes. I believe that some souls are just born bad and therefore they do not have the capacity to understand the pain they cause by thier actions. Jeffrey Dahmer started off by torturing animals…and look what he ended up doing?

  • j r

    Kill ’em.

    • Steven McMichael

      AWESOME IDEA….. they will amount to NOTHING so might as well do it now save some $$$ on prison and save other people / animals / property from their path….

  • Mari

    Illegals… it’s over, folks…

  • brady

    how do you know they were illegals? ….everyone is trying to blame everything on this hard working people im sure you can find the problem somewhere else; maybe starting in your own backyard? just saying amigo

  • Mari

    Okay, MEXICANS! Happy now?


      Oh mari…. lol.. they are just bored kids… and all you animal “lovers” are sick deprived white people who dont……..sorry…….. CANT…..llove or help your fellow man… im going to enjoy my cat and dog dinner tonight…mmmmmmmm

  • Sheryl Thompson

    Don’t be so dam quick to judge and blame the parents, most parents work and kids are left home alone, when mom stayed home we had a better society, i understand most parents have to work just to make ends meat, but come on if we punish our kids its abuse and if we don’t we spoil them, its a double edge sword if you ask me. Don’ get me wrong these little brats need to be taught a big lesson, what they need is taken out to the tool shed, all i am saying is don’t always blame the parents sometimes you just get a bad seed, take it from someone who knows what she is talking about.

    • Dixie

      @ Sheryl Thompson: According to your own statement that most parents work and kids are left home alone, does in fact place the blame on the parents. If both parents need to work in order to raise children, then they simply can’t afford to have children.

    • Kevin Wallis

      dont forget the fact that parents cant disiplin kids any more. when i was young, it wasnt the cops or jail i worried about, it was my father and mother that would whoop me. i raised my kids the same way, where they knew right from wrong, and were more worried about me getting after them, and now there adults and never been in trouble , just like me.

  • Eric Coupey

    Parents or tutors are responsible for this and should be made to pay for repairs of all damages and costs in addition to a hefty fine that would go towards some educational project related to this type of abuse. Culprits to do community work at animal shelters.

  • David

    Significant in the copy, were that the boys were released to their mothers. No fathers in the picture.


  • Tony

    Hey Thee Mexican,

    You as dumb as your sombrero. You have already had your cat and dog, you ate it them while you and your homies were sneaking across the border. Go take a spelling test, and eat a blow fish, please!

  • proud_bay_man

    I smell a future mass murderer in their future.

  • TF

    Because our society does not teach young kids ethics and moral behavior, the result is what we have seen, little monsters torturing animals, and potentially criminals or serial killers when they grow up. Putting them in jail may seem harsh but doing nothing is worse. Why? Because kids need to learn the consequence of their actions.

  • The Rock

    Might as well reserve their room in San Quentin now since that is exactly were these punks are headed. Stupid ass Thee Mexican can visit them on occasion. You probably already know your way around the joint anyway, Fool.

  • athenia

    These monsters should be sent to reform school, its just pure evil, what they did to that innocent animal! The parents should be arrested for neglect, and the school should have a security guard, and or video cameras! The real hero here is the woman who called the police! I hope they experience the fear and pain the hamster felt, at some point in their lives!

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