Columbus Police announced just after 11 a.m. today that they have arrested two men in connection with razor blades being taped to playground equipment at Lakebottom Park earlier this year.
Derek Kyle Fullum, 21, of Phenix City, and Gary Levon Bryan, 18, of Columbus, have been arrested and charged with first degree criminal damage to property. Bryan was arrested last night at his Stark Avenue apartment. Fullum was arrested this morning at his Hightower Road trailer in Phenix City. Both were arrested without incident.
“These individuals have admitted their participation in these incidents,” Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren said at a press conference this morning. “They said that they did not target these children. They classified it as a party prank.”
The chief said the two told investigators they just wanted to see how this "would change lives."
In early May, a 2-year-old boy found a razor blade taped to a piece of playground equipment at the north end of the popular midtown park.
The boy, who was not injured, showed it to his mother, who took it to Columbus Police officer Tricia Wolfley, who was on patrol nearby. Wolfley searched the playground and found eight more box-cutter type blades taped to various pieces of playground equipment.
“They were taped in places kids of all ages would grab,” Wolfley said at the time.
The playground was cleared and cordoned off while city crews combed the area with rakes and metal detectors. Other city parks were also searched as a precaution, but no other blades were found.
Police Cpl. Cathy Bush reportedly located an informant who gave her information that led to the arrests.
Fullum and Bryan are scheduled to appear in Recorder’s Court at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The law they're accused of violating says first-degree criminal damage to property means a person "knowingly and without authority interferes with any property in a manner so as to endanger human life." The punishment is "imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years," the law says. Stay with ledger-enquirer.com for more on this developing story.