KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The event started out as a fun one for 17-year-old Syi Sipple and several of his friends.
”We all saw a post on Facebook and then decided to go there just to play basketball. That’s all we did, “ Sipple told FOX4 Tuesday during an exclusive interview from his family’s home in Kansas City, Kan.
Sipple said for nearly three weeks students have been posting on Facebook about pickup games played at Olathe North High School.
The 17-year-old is a senior at F. L. Schlagle High School in Wyandotte County. He showed FOX4 video from a basketball game he says was recorded at Olathe North on July 23rd.
"This video is all over social media. Several students posted it. Again, that’s what it was, people just playing basketball,” Sipple said.
He said just before 11 Sunday night, he and several buddies were having a great time playing basketball at Olathe North.
However, once their game ended, the more than 40 boys and girls stepped outside only to see Olathe cops.
”A lot of students ran, hopped in their cars and took off. I chose to stay. I stopped my car because police had got in front of us and so I stopped and got out," Sipple said.
The teen added that the officers accused him, the other teenagers and young adults, who got inside Olathe North’s gym through a side door, of trespassing.
”It was a lot of us. High school students from Schlagle, Olathe North, Turner and other schools. There were also some college students there playing. I don’t think it’s right for the police to give us trespassing notices. That was my first time there. Lots of kids had been going there on weekends and sometimes during the week just to play basketball. When I went inside the gym, I never even heard an alarm go off. We also saw an adult there sitting in a corner the whole time,” Sipple said.
A source told FOX4 a concerned neighbor called police after “noticing unusual activity at the school.”
FOX4 also learned that someone had unauthorized access to a key and had been unlocking Olathe North’s gym without approval from the school or district. A spokesman for Olathe Schools would only say the boys’ basketball adventure “was not a district organized event.”
"All my son did is go to that school to play basketball. Something he loves to do. Had we known anything illegal was going on, his mother and I wouldn’t have let him go there,” his frustrated father, Levell, said.
Levell said his son is a straight “A” student, has never been in trouble before and is also a proud member of F. L. Schlagle’s basketball team. Levell said he fears his son may now end up with a juvenile record because of the basketball incident.
“I called Olathe North’s assistant principal and told him that I thought this was extreme. He told me there’s nothing he can do. I’ve also been talking to a juvenile officer at the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office. They made it sound like if my son now goes through some type of diversion program and stays out of trouble for three months, then this will go down on his juvenile record only as a no charge. I want the trespassing noticed dismissed altogether. If not, I will contact a lawyer,” Levell said.
“They should have just let us leave,” a disappointed Syi Sipple said.