McPHERSON, Kan. (AP) — A 12-year-old boy has been charged in connection with the contamination of a water cooler used by a small college baseball team in Kansas.
The boy has been charged with endangerment and criminal damage to property for allegedly pouring paint into Kansas Wesleyan’s water cooler during a doubleheader against Bethany College in Lindsborg on April 24.
McPherson County Attorney Jennifer Wyatt said a summons would be issued for the juvenile to appear in court.
LINDSBORG —Law enforcement authorities have determined that two juvenile boys, not college students or staff, are involved in an incident in which a foreign substance, identified as line paint, was placed in a water cooler the Bethany College baseball team provided to Kansas Wesleyan University during their doubleheader on Sunday, according to a media release from Lindsborg Police.
On April 24, Kansas Wesleyan University (KWU) contacted the Lindsborg Police Department to file a police report regarding a foreign substance found in their baseball team’s water cooler while at Bethany College for a game. Shortly thereafter, Bethany College contacted the police department to report the same incident. A police report was filed and both colleges agreed to cooperate with the investigation.
This incident generated wide-reaching media interest after initial comments on social media claimed that a college baseball program deliberately contaminated an opponent’s water cooler.
Allegations were made that the foreign substance found in the water of KWU’s cooler was paint thinner. Based on information obtained through the investigation, it has been determined that the foreign substance was not paint thinner, but rather line paint used on the field and to touch up bases.
The Lindsborg Police Department has conducted over 60 interviews so far, collected multiple pieces of evidence, photographed the scene, and followed various leads. Though the investigation is active and ongoing, it has been determined that no one associated with either college was responsible for tampering with the water cooler.
The Lindsborg Police Department has identified two male juveniles as being involved in this incident and are continuing to investigate this matter.