Young suspects accused in racial bias vandalism on college campus

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GREENCASTLE, Ind. (WISH) — Students at DePauw University were reacting Wednesday to the news that suspects have been identified in the investigation into racially-charged vandalism on campus.

The school’s public safety office sent an email to faculty, staff and students on Tuesday afternoon announcing that more than one juvenile had been accused of forming the N-word in rocks at the campus nature park.

The suspects’ identities were not released due to their ages.

The early response from students who talked to WISH-TV was a mix of emotions including relief and sadness.

“Since they are younger they have the chance to educate themselves. That’s the biggest thing about the situation is that everyone needs to educate themselves even if they think they don’t need to. Hopefully since they’re younger, they’ll have more opportunity,” freshman student Catherine Fisher said.

Fellow freshman David Flannely expressed concern that the mentalities that motivated the vandalism in the first place exist whether the suspects were identified or not.

“There’s no place for that on this campus,” Flannely said. “It’s just kind of disgusting to think the other people think about people in that way and it’s a big problem that’s not really being addressed as well as a lot of people wish it would be.”

It was not immediately clear whether the accused were also suspected of several other offensive messages found scrawled on campus property over a three-day span.

The case had been forwarded to the Putnam County Prosecutor’s Office.

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