Felony charges loom against three men in their late teens accused of cutting down trees near Fari­bault High School and the soccer complex, including one planted in memory of a student soccer player who died at age 16.

On Wednesday officials discovered the five trees, including a maple planted after the death in 2009 of high school junior Nicholas Paulson. Surveillance video led police to the suspects, said Chief Andy Bohlen.

“I don’t know why anybody would do this,” Bohlen said. “There was no indication that they were targeting [Paulson] in any way whatsoever. … It’s like vandalizing a cemetery.”

Bohlen said his detectives talked with the three men, all from the Faribault area, and will present a case to the Rice County attorney’s office “for review of criminal charges.”

The Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects before they are charged.