A late-night burglary at South Effingham Middle School led to criminal charges for two 18-year-olds — and hypothermia for one of them.
Elliott Connor Boyles and Michael Wegmann, both of Guyton, were jailed on burglary charges after breaking in to SEMS and fleeing from deputies, according to the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies responded to an alarm at SEMS just before midnight Tuesday and “were on the scene within minutes,” said ECSO spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor. He added that the deputies saw two males who were “obviously committing a burglary” and chased them after the teens ran out of the school.
Boyles, a senior at South Effingham High School, jumped into a nearby pond and refused to come out, according to investigators.
“He was freezing his tail off in about 30-degree weather,” Ehsanipoor said. “After about 20 or 25 minutes, he finally did come out. He said he finally came out when he thought he was going to pass out.”
Boyles was taken to Memorial Health University Medical Center for treatment of hypothermia, Ehsanipoor said. After Boyles was discharged from the hospital Wednesday morning, he was arrested and taken to the Effingham County Jail.
Wegmann turned himself in to investigators Wednesday morning. Wegmann’s Facebook page lists him as having attended South Effingham High, but he is not currently enrolled there.
The burglars took a small amount of cash and miscellaneous items including candy and scales, according to Ehsanipoor.
“We believe that there was an unsecure door at the school and they were able to make their way inside,” he said.
While not commenting specifically on this case, SEHS principal Mark Winters said a student who commits a crime is subject to school disciplinary proceedings, which may include a disciplinary hearing. If a student commits a felony, the student could be classified as a designated felon and disciplinary consequences could include expulsion or placement in an alternative setting.