Police: Paint put in college baseball team's water cooler, suspects identified

·2 min read

Police on Thursday said an investigation determined paint was placed into a college baseball team's water cooler and they have identified two juveniles suspects in the alleged poisoning.

The incident occurred on Sunday during a game between Kansas Wesleyan University and Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. News of the incident broke on Wednesday. The Kansas City Star reported seven people — six associated with Kansas Wesleyan — drank the tainted water. Bethany hosted the game between the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference rivals.

Lindsborg Police Chief Michael Davis said on Wednesday that it's customary for the home team to provide water, but authorities didn't know at the time who provided the water and who tainted it. On Thursday, police cleared both teams of being involved in poisoning the water.

“This incident generated wide-reaching media interest after initial comments on social media claimed that a college baseball program deliberately contaminated an opponent’s water cooler,” a police statement reads. “The Lindsborg Police Department has taken this incident seriously and has conducted over 60 interviews so far, collected multiple pieces of evidence, photographed the scene, and followed various leads.

“Though the investigation is active and ongoing, it has been determined that no one associated with either college was responsible for tampering with the water cooler.”

Police also confirmed the water was tainted with paint instead of paint thinner as initially reported. Per police, the substance used was intended for painting lines on the baseball field. Police did not confirm whether or not anyone became ill after drinking the water.

Two boys have been identified as suspects in the incident. Police did not name them nor provide a motive in the alleged incident. KWU and Bethany are located about 18 miles apart in central Kansas.

Aug 31, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; A general view of a glove on the field before the game between the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
(Denny Medley/Reuters)
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