Two Burnsville men have been charged with breaking into Nicollet Junior High School in an effort to “take a stroll down memory lane,” then pushing a microwave off a table in the school’s faculty lounge and emptying a bottle of mustard inside a refrigerator.
Justin Scott McGuire, 21, and Zachery Ross Rother, 21, are each charged with second-degree burglary of a government, religious, historic or school building, a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, and fleeing a peace officer on foot, a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaints, Burnsville police were called to Nicollet Junior High at 1 a.m. Aug. 9 when an alarm in the school was activated.
Officers set up a perimeter around the building. An officer on the north side of the school heard a door opening, and shone his flashlight at the door, where he spotted two men inside the building.
The officer shouted at the two men to lie on the ground and told them they were under arrest. The men closed the door and ran back inside the school; a few seconds later, another officer at the front of the school said two men had just run out the front door and across 134th Street, according to the complaints.
Police entered the school and found a microwave lying on the floor of the staff lounge, and mustard sprayed all over the inside of a refrigerator. They also found damage on a steel door on the school’s roof.
A K-9 officer was called in to help find the suspects. McGuire was found hiding in a children’s playhouse in a nearby residential area; because of the “canine apprehension,” paramedics were called to the scene, and McGuire was taken to a hospital.
McGuire told police that he and Rother had a few drinks and decided to “take a stroll down memory lane” by breaking into Nicollet Junior High, the complaint says. He said he and Rother got into the school through the steel door on the roof, and he admitted dumping out several cans of pop and emptying the mustard bottle inside the refrigerator in the staff lounge, according to the complaint.
McGuire said he fled the scene because it was a “flight or fight” situation, and he didn’t want to fight with officers, the complaint says.
Police located Rother that afternoon at his job and arrested him. He admitted to police that he and McGuire had pushed open the door on the roof, and said that he had pushed the microwave off the table in the staff lounge, even though he knew it would damage the machine, according to the complaint.
Rother said he and McGuire broke into the school “so that they could say that they did it,” the complaint says.
McGuire and Rother have been released from jail on their promises to make all future court appearances. Omnibus hearings in both cases are scheduled Dec. 3 in Dakota County District Court in Hastings.
To see more reporting on this story, check out WCCO's report.