14-year-old arson suspect arrested, given counseling

Published 8:46 pm Friday, January 24, 2014

Bainbridge Public Safety officers took a 14-year-old charged with arson into custody Sunday night after the suspect allegedly set more than four fires behind the old Kmart building on Shotwell Street and various other locations.
Around 4:30 p.m. BPS officers responded to a call behind the old Kmart building where they found numerous tires ablaze, likely set on fire intentionally. After putting the fire out and noticing a juvenile male watching, they were called to several other locations for similar incidents in that time frame.
“The fire units responded and put the fires out, and as they were leaving that area after cleaning up, a juvenile had been watching near Broughton Street and had walked down and talked to one of the officers,” Investigator Ryan Deen said. “And then another fire started on Broughton Street.”
Several trashcan fires began on Broughton to which the officers responded to and put out. After a dumpster fire started and they observed the juvenile suspect, a black male wearing all black, at the scene of that incident as well they tried to talk to him but he fled.
After a pursuit on foot, officers apprehended the suspect in the same Broughton Street area, and interviewed the juvenile who admitted to setting fires, and even planning to do more.
“He said he had actually started five fires but one was in the woods and it burned itself out,” Deen said. “I asked him why he did it and he said he got excited and liked to see the fireman and the fire trucks putting stuff out and he liked to burn stuff.”
Deen said there have been fires recently behind Kmart that had no listed suspects, but this juvenile admitted to them.
“He said during the interview that if we hadn’t caught him he would have left to start another fire,” Deen said. “He had intentions of starting fires until he got tired of it, I guess.”
Officers made sure to get the juvenile counseling after he admitted an interest in fires and wanting to do more burning.