Three accused of causing extensive damage at Bonita Springs Elementary
Three people were apprehended near Bonita Springs Elementary School Sunday after deputies responding to a “supicious persons” call heard breaking glass and then saw the three fleeing the scene with T-shirts covering their faces.
Deputies responding to the 4:46 a.m. call quickly realized a burglary was in progress, officials said, adding three white males were then seen running south through the school property with their faces covered.
Deputies chased them on foot.
One of the suspects, later identified as John Albert Motes, 19, was given several orders to stop running. As he continued to run, ignoring commands to stop, one of the deputies tasered him, causing him to fall to the ground. He was taken into custody without further incident, officials said.
The second suspect, identified as Brandon Michael Strickler, 17, was apprehended a short distance from school grounds, in the area of Dean Street and Marco Drive. He was apprehended and taken into custody without incident.
The third suspect, later identified as William Robert Steffen, 20, was taken into custody with the assistance of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit after he was found hiding in a grassy area behind 27846 Matheson Avenue.
Deputies enering the school found a “massive amount of damage,” officials said. At least 20 classrooms, offices, hallways, common areas and the cafeteria had been entered and each room had an extensive damage, including turned over desks, destroyed computers, broken televisions, video projectors, copy machines and smashed windows. Further inspection revealed several vulgarities spray painted within the school’s common areas.
Steffen was taken to a local hospital to be treated for a dog bite. Motes and Strickler were transported to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Delta (South) District Substation for questioning. Upon arrival at the substation, deputies learned that Strickler had been injured by some broken glass and he was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Deputies learned that all three suspects had been concealing loose change stolen from the school in their pockets, officials said, adding the investigation also revealed that Strickler, Motes and Steffen were at a nearby Halloween party when they made the collective decision to enter the school.
All three have been charged with one felony count of Burglary to a Structure Causing More than $1000 in Damage, one felony count of Wearing a Mask or Hood While Committing a Felony, one misdemeanor count of Resisting Arrest Without Violence and one misdemeanor count of Petit Theft.
Strickler’s most recent address is listed as 10876 Dean Street, Bonita Springs. Motes’ most recent address is listed as 4585 SW 23rd Avenue, Naples, and Steffen’s most recent address is listed as 11426 West Richard Place, Beach Park, Illinois.
Source: Lee County Sheriff’s Office