August 1, 2014

Sheriff: Juveniles who trespassed at former Belleville area school may be charged

Three juveniles who trespassed at the former Belle Valley North School in Belleville may be charged.

St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson said Friday the sheriff's department will send a petition for charges to the State's Attorney's Office. The three juveniles -- one 16 and two 17-year-olds -- may face criminal trespass charges.

Police were called to the former school at 9:20 p.m. Wednesday after receiving a call that a juvenile was injured. Belle Valley North is located in a residential subdivision on the opposite side of West Boulevard from Belleville East High School. It's in unincorporated St. Clair County.

Watson said the 16-year-old victim fell through a skylight on the roof. She was transported to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis with injuries.

"We don't know exactly what they were," Watson said regarding the extent of the victim's injuries.

The two other juveniles were released to their parents, according to Watson.

Belle Valley North has been empty since 2011, when students moved into the new Belle Valley School near the intersection of Green Mount Road and Mascoutah Avenue.

Developer Nick Snyder, a managing member of H&S Properties LLC who owns the building, is trying to sell or lease it. He said the building is well maintained and no trespassing signs are posted.

Watson said the sheriff's department tries to patrol the area as much as possible. "We always try to get everywhere we can as much as we can," he said. "It just depends on the call load."

He described the incident at Belle Valley North as "unfortunate. Kids just need to be able to respect other people's property."

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