Highland Park Teen Brings Machetes to School

Kace Coyle (Courtesy of University Park Police Department)

On Monday morning — just three days after the massacre at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary — two machetes were discovered on Highland Park High School’s campus.

According to an arrest report, security guards found the two knives hidden near the football stadium, beneath a blue Highland Park hoodie with the number 82 on it. They waited to see if anyone would come retrieve them. The report says Scots wide receiver Kace Allan Coyle, who wears the number 82 on his jersey, came back for the hoodie, leaving the machetes exposed. As he walked back to the school with a friend, the students were intercepted at the back door by an officer who escorted them to the office.

The students were patted down for weapons and interviewed, the report says. Coyle claimed the hoodie and knives, saying that he and some friends had vandalized yard displays the previous night.

He admitted to using the knives to destroy Christmas yard decorations, lopping off the heads of Santa Clauses and reindeers execution-style, said University Park police Capt. Leon Holman.

“He admitted to committing about eight different accounts of vandalism, but so far we’ve only had reports of two,” Holman said. But damaged decorations are the least of the police department’s worries.

“We’re more concerned with the fact that he had the machetes on a school campus than about the vandalism,” Holman said. “Decorations can be replaced.”

Coyle is facing a felony charge of carrying weapons in a place where they are prohibited. He could also be charged with criminal mischief if the decorations’ owners decide to press charges.

Although Holman has seen Christmas vandalism in the Park Cities before, he’s never seen a case quite like this.

“Each year, there are reports of vandalism to holiday decorations,” Holman said. “But this is the first time I’ve seen where someone took a machete and actually decapitated the decorations.”

On Monday afternoon, Highland Park ISD Superintendent Dawson Orr sent a letter informing parents and staff of the morning’s events. The letter confirms the police report, saying that the knives “were never brought into the school building.” Orr says that “appropriate disciplinary measures are being taken on campus and the district is fully cooperating with police,” before assuring parents that student safety is a top priority in HPISD.

By Michelle Saunders Dec. 19, 2012 | 11:05 am | 23 Comments | Comments RSS
  • Yo Yo

    “Yeah buddy, I sure whacked me some plastic reindeer last night. Good times. Let’s see where did I leave the machetes? Oh yeah, at my high school, under the hoodie with my jersey number on it”. Stay away from drugs kids, because this is what happens when you get high.

  • A. B.

    He looks appropriately scared sh!tless. Out of curiosity, what would the charge have been if he had not brought the machetes onto school property? I’m guessing it would have just been the criminal mischief?

  • Bill Johnson

    I think he will walk quite quickly on the weapons charge, unless I am mistaken the weapons were never brought onto the premises of the school, which is defined as follows:

    (3) “Premises” means a building or a portion of a
    building. The term does not include any public or private driveway,
    street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other
    parking area.

  • http://beecherl.dennis73@gmail.com dennis beecherl

    iam sorry to see what happened and iam glad they cought him and i want to say that making the highland park varsity foot team is a great honor for himself and his school and his community and iam sure the coaches have to be real careful who they put on the versity team and what kace did made the whole football team look bad and desgrace iam sure he never play on the highland park football again and may be removed from the highland park high school for good.

  • hp parent

    Scary and stupid. What kind of person does this kind of act anytime – let alone right after this terrible tragedy in CT. Disturbing. Hello parents?

  • http://FDA Team Manager

    If he is a starter he will be suspended for the Monterrey Tech game and then rejoin the team in time for another run at an undefeated district campaign.

  • nfw

    @ Bill, if it’s that easy to walk, why would they charge him?

  • Ray

    Deny, Deny, Deny. Seriously, I wouldn’t have said squat until my parents and or attorney was present.

  • Parkie

    He should have to mow their lawns all summer long as past of his community service sentence.

  • Captain Obvious

    Everyone makes the HP football team. It isn’t an honor. You just have to be alive. They don’t cut people.

  • eagleeye

    @Bill, I am pretty certain that the parking garage and football stadium constitute “premises” per the school code and state law. But honestly this story being in the DMN and on local TV amounts to gossip. I know it’s a dumb act so soon after CT, but if the DMN posted every arrest in Dallas schools with a front page Metro section article, there would be no news to print… seriously – is this really newsworthy? Agree the kid looks scared.

  • Disturbed

    I wonder what other “criminal mischief” this guy has been involved with before now. I haven’t read reports that this was part of a stunt or “boys being boys” which is very disturbing. I urge the property owners who had their decorations decapitated to press charges. Now that this guy is an adult, he needs the watchful eye of the police and the community. I bet this isn’t his first time and it will only escalate to animals, children, and adults.

  • Bill Johnson

    I hear that in honor of the Highland Park High School senior class of 2013, the school administration is considering changing the school’s engraved motto from “Go Forth to Serve” to “Go Forth to Serve Prison Sentences.”

  • XT

    My friends and I did similar stupid things in High School, although it seems like none of you commenting on this board ever did. May not have been as stupid as this boy to leave the machetes on campus with my football sweatshirt on top, but I did my fair share of knocking down mailboxes, cow tipping, throwing eggs, etc. just bored with nothing to do in a small town. Let’s not make the kid out to be some kind of serial criminal, unless facts prove otherwise.

  • nfw

    @Bill, your last comment was tacky and unfair. It’s easy to dump all of our kids in with the latest news on our HP athletes, but it just itsn’t the right stereotype. Are there troublemakers and jerks? Yep. However, I know many of the seniors in this class and several on the football team, and they are great kids–mine included.

    What this kid did was wholly stupid and unexcusable, but charging him with a felony doesn’t quite seem to fit the bill either. Nobody should look the other way, but I think there is a better answer on this one.

  • Bill Johnson

    @nfw – “What this kid did was wholly stupid and unexcusable, but charging him with a felony doesn’t quite seem to fit the bill either. Nobody should look the other way, but I think there is a better answer on this one.”

    So what is that answer in your opinion ma’am? ISS for swords on campus and felony confessions? Picking up trash at Caruth Park on a Saturday? A Stinson detention? Bear crawls in the gym before class? Running triangles on the baseball field? Running burners in the football stadium?

    Or do you think that the young man should be treated like a young man from Skyline or Carter who brought swords to school, who would undoubtedly still be in jail for inability to make bail (this is real world stuff so I apologize in advance if it confuses you)?

    It’s a shame that you can’t take a little prodding. Relax – MiCocina in the village will still be there tomorrow, your child will still pledge his/her favorite fraternity at UT thanks to his/her legacy status, and your position as a stay-at-home mom is undoubtedly secure as long as you keep monitoring the Park Cities People blog and responding accordingly. We all know that you think that the Texas Penal Code does not apply to you – but hopefully the UPPD and Dallas County DA will prove you wrong, though I think they may have a technicality to deal with, as I previously posted.

    “GO FORTH AND SERVE” In this case, I ask the UPPD and Dallas County DA’s office to comply with this motto.

  • jbw

    @ Bill Johnson, I thought what you said was funny. Neither “tacky” nor “unfair” crossed my mind.

  • nfw

    Um, Bill, you must have skipped your meds. I think you misunderstood my first point. The media and the local community is always hell-bent on putting all of the Park Cities kids in some kind of hateful, lump sum category, which I believed at the time was your point. If it was intended to be funny, forgive me if I don’t think my kid should be lumped in with them. I DO know great kids at this district, and it makes me sad to think that they are all sullied by the actions of a few.

    As for the second half of your rant, I hate MiCocina–worst Mexican food in Dallas. I grew up near the Texas-Mexico border so I understand the world better than you think, and I am pretty grounded by my lower middle class roots. I went to a second-rate school and worked my way into the Park Cities, buddy. I am not easily confused, and I believe the law applies to everyone–including my kids. However, is it possible that we really need to convict a kid of a felony for what was really a malicious, stupid, ill-conceived plan to behead Christmas ornaments? Without question, he should pay for what he did.

  • Neal

    Of course it was tacky and unfair. That’s why it was funny.

    Also, who needs LSD when you have comments from Dennis Beecherl? Man, that was trippy.

  • Jen

    Weapons on campus is wholly intolerable and unexcusable.

  • CP

    Good to see that Eagleye and XT are up to their same old postings. Move along, nothing to see here. Who hasn’t hidden their machete on the school campus? Maybe the kid was on Ambien?

  • Edward

    Exactly right, CP.

    It always amazes me on this blog the number of creative ways people come up with to justify what is essentially criminal behavior.

    To be honest, NO ONE I knew in high school went around destroying Christmas decorations, or any of the other stuff people throw out there to say “hey, we were all kids at one time, right?”

    The levels that people will go to in order to protect these “innocent” bubble-grown kids is disgusting.

  • XT

    Explain the “same old postings” of mine? You know,with some facts, such as past posts, etc. Take your time, I’ll be waiting.

    And yes, slashing Christmas ornaments is strange, and certainly punishable. But it doesn’t rise to the level of felony. Read nfw’s post for what I believe is the proper perspective. But I hope that you are comfortable sitting on your high horse.

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