Students' elaborate senior prank has town talking, laughing
CUMBERLAND, Wis.—When the Cumberland Police Department received a phone call Monday morning, it sounded like a serious situation.
A car had crashed into the side of Cumberland High School, the caller said, near the principal's office.
But when a police officer arrived at the scene on May 14, all he could do was laugh.
The officer discovered that what at first appeared to be a car crashed into the school was actually a clever prank by high school senior students who graduate this weekend, police Chief Rick Rieper said.
At midnight Sunday, four Cumberland High School seniors hauled a half-car to the school and anchored it against the wall, making it appear as if the front half of the vehicle was inside the building.
They affixed black plastic to the wall around the car so it seemed as if it had crashed through the brick structure. They used electric tape behind the vehicle to imitate tire skid marks on blacktop and placed bricks that matched the color of the school around the pretend wreck.
"What they did was really creative," Rieper chuckled.
Konur Pasko, one of the students involved in pulling off the prank, said the idea grew from an evening talk with his dad, Jon Pasko, the technology education teacher in Cumberland schools. A friend of the younger Pasko had purchased an old car and then sold it for $200 on Friday after it was discovered to have severe front suspension problems.
"We have this junk car. Now what are we going to do with it?" Konur Pasko said.
The Paskos then came up with the idea to use that vehicle as part of a senior class prank. During the weekend, Konur Pasko and three fellow seniors — Cody Paul, Adrian Warner and Jacob Woodley — gutted the engine and removed the car's front seats, panels, wiring and other parts bit by bit, and then cut off the remaining front portion. They gathered bricks at Konur Pasko's grandpa's house and then loaded the car onto a trailer.
Precisely at midnight, they arrived at the school, quickly attached the car to a stone bench against a wall, stretched black tape and plastic, and scattered bricks. Seven minutes later, they left the scene.
"We didn't want to be there long because we didn't want to attract attention," Konur Pasko said.
As Monday progressed, the exhibit attracted attention. One person after another, many laughing, visited the school to take photos of the car, principal Ritchie Narges said.
"It was the talk of the town," Narges said. "We had people driving up here all day taking pictures."
Graduating seniors at Cumberland often take part in some sort of prank at the Barron County school, Narges said.
"This is one of the more creative ones we've had, that's for sure," Narges said.
Konur Pasko said he and his three classmates took steps to ensure they didn't damage school grounds with their car crash display.
Police tweeted a message and photos of the prank, and it attracted lots of attention, including from media outlets as far away as Milwaukee. Narges said the prank is meant to exhibit a "spirit of fun."
"If this is the worst thing our kids are going to do, then we're really lucky," he said.