Deputies hunt Porter Ridge tire vandal

Feb. 12, 2013 @ 06:55 PM

About a hundred students were late for school Monday morning when a fleet of buses was grounded due to tire damage. 

Someone used some sort of tool, similar to needle-nosed pliers and damaged the air stem in the tires of 19 buses, spokesperson Rob Jackson said. 

The tires did not immediately go flat, but after the pre-trip check the tires began to flatten. 

“No students were ever on the buses,” Jackson said.

The buses in the Porter Ridge cluster were grounded until mechanics could arrive. While some tires were repaired, others had to be replaced. 

The case was immediately turned over to the Union County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson said. They are conducting an investigation and looking at surveillance footage. 

Captain Ronnie Whitaker said there are no suspects at this time.

The system is looking at the security of their buses across the county. 

“We have buses that are parked in various parts of the county, primarily that’s a gas-saving measure,” Jackson said. “We’re reviewing all of the parking locations and the video surveillance that we have in those locations and all of the procedures.”

Jackson hopes that members of the community will be able to help by reaching out to Union County Crimestoppers with any information.

“Any help that we could get from the community would be greatly appreciated,” he said. “We certainly appreciate how responsive the Sheriff’s Office has been in responding right away.” 

Deborah Mollison, the school resource officer at Porter Ridge High School, could not be reached before press time.