Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

DA Asked to Decide Whether to Prosecute Boy Who Allegedly Started L.A. Wildfires
http://www.foxnews.com ^ | 10/31/07 | Associated Press

Posted on 10/31/2007 10:03:17 AM PDT by nmh

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — Officials blamed a wildfire that consumed more than 38,000 acres and destroyed 21 homes last week on a boy playing with matches, and said they would ask a prosecutor to consider the case.

The boy, whose name and age were not released, admitted to sparking the fire on Oct. 21, Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Diane Hecht said Tuesday. Ferocious winds helped it quickly spread.

"He admitted to playing with matches and accidentally starting the fire," Hecht said in a statement.

The boy was released to his parents, and the case will be presented to the district attorney's office, Hecht said. It was not clear if he had been arrested or cited by detectives.

The fire began in an area near Agua Dulce and quickly spread. It was among 15 or so major wildfires that destroyed some 2,100 homes and blackened 809 square miles from Los Angeles to the Mexican border last week. Seven deaths were blamed directly on the fires, six evacuees died of natural causes and one person died of a fall.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; US: California
KEYWORDS: boy; death; fire; minor; wildfires

1 posted on 10/31/2007 10:03:18 AM PDT by nmh
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nmh

How old a boy? Isn’t it unusuall to withhold the age as well as the name?

If it’s a six year old kid, bad luck, but let him off. If it’s a teenage punk, charge him. Something in between, who knows?


2 posted on 10/31/2007 10:45:00 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nmh

How old a boy? Isn’t it unusuall to withhold the age as well as the name?

If it’s a six year old kid, bad luck, but let him off. If it’s a teenage punk, charge him. Something in between, who knows?


3 posted on 10/31/2007 10:45:11 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cicero

It is unusual to withhold name. If they do not prosecute, it will send a bad message.


4 posted on 10/31/2007 11:06:15 AM PDT by Dante3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Dante3

In CA we do not release the name unless the juvenile is charged as an adult. But this is the first time I recall the age was not disclosed.


5 posted on 10/31/2007 11:08:18 AM PDT by purpleraine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: nmh
He should be made to go to schools all over the fire ffected area and tell the kids how dangerous and stupid it is to mess around and what the consequences are!

He should be accompanied by a few kids who lost their homes from the fires just to keep him "on track".

6 posted on 10/31/2007 11:08:41 AM PDT by HardStarboard (Take No Prisoners - We're Out Of Qurans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nmh

We have to make an example of this kid as a warning to others not to do the same. It’s what they call a teachable moment.


7 posted on 10/31/2007 11:09:32 AM PDT by Argus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nmh

Age is important but what good will it do to prosecute? It’s ironic though that they don’t know what to do but if a six y/o had taken a toy gun to school or even drawn a picture of one he might have already been arrested.


8 posted on 10/31/2007 11:10:18 AM PDT by CindyDawg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nmh

Hopefully his parents will be required to help pay for some of the fire-fighting expenses, at least.


9 posted on 10/31/2007 11:10:49 AM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nmh

Can’t be. They are lying. Blackwater did it. /sarc

In case you don’t know, some liberal radio hosts say Blackwater did it.


10 posted on 10/31/2007 11:11:41 AM PDT by imskylark
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cicero
Isn’t it unusuall to withhold the age as well as the name?
I don't think any state releases the names of juvenile offenders. Sometimes reporters publish it if it's already widely known.

He is a kid after all and kids make mistakes. A scarlet letter on him won't do anybody any good. His punishment needs to fit his age as well as his crime.

11 posted on 10/31/2007 11:20:11 AM PDT by 21stCenturyFreeThinker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Dante3

It looks like it’s a MINOR.

WHERE oh WHERE were the PARENTS?

I say community service to the MINOR and the PARENTS and some sort of restitution by the parents not not watching their kid. Unless it’s Bill Gates the parents won’t be able to pay enough or compensate for the DEATHS of others or business interuption or the COST of this tragedy or how rates will go UP, nationwide but a painful amount should be determined.


12 posted on 10/31/2007 11:27:10 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: AnotherUnixGeek
One can only hope ...

Too often we WINK at PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they made the kid a “hero” for telling the truth and the parents for telling the police - than all will be forgiven - like it never happened.

13 posted on 10/31/2007 11:28:49 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: CindyDawg

Well they prosecute for the things you just stated - here we have HOMES destroyed, people DEAD and we waver on some kind of punishment for the MINOR and the PARENTS. PARENTS are responsible for the MINOR children. Some how we need to make them live up to it. Or don’t have KIDS.


14 posted on 10/31/2007 11:30:26 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: nmh

You can’t watch kids every second.


15 posted on 10/31/2007 11:30:30 AM PDT by CindyDawg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: CindyDawg

No, but you can TEACH them and keep an eye on them so they don’t get into trouble. Parents that do, have less problems - and that’s a FACT. Good communication and being INVOLVED with your kids stops stuff.


16 posted on 10/31/2007 11:31:39 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: 21stCenturyFreeThinker

Even if there is no other punishment because of his age, at least make him go and an extended explanation and apology individually to the each of the 21 families who lost homes. Let him do it while standing in the midst of the ruins of each destroyed home.


17 posted on 10/31/2007 11:32:37 AM PDT by Captain Rhino ( If we have the WILL to do it, there is nothing built in China that we cannot do without.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: nmh
The kid set a fire which burned 38,000 acres and destroyed 21 homes. Should he be punished? I'm not wise enough to know the answer.

I will say, however, that if he goes to school tomorrow and draws a picture of the policeman's gun, then he will be in BIG trouble.

18 posted on 10/31/2007 11:35:33 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The broken wall, the burning roof and tower. And Agamemnon dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nmh
I agree that you can try and those that do have less problems. This kid and his family may have a history...I don’t know. I do know that good kids do get in trouble at times. I don’t know the answer here. You could hold the parents financially responsible but who has that kind of money . It would probably bankrupt them and be a no-win for the victims.
19 posted on 10/31/2007 11:36:30 AM PDT by CindyDawg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: nmh

They let the kid actors that started the Griffith Park 1 fire go....why prosecute these kids.


20 posted on 10/31/2007 11:39:51 AM PDT by BurbankKarl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nmh

What I czan’t figure out is if he and/or his family are legal or not - the police sat on this story for over a week.


21 posted on 10/31/2007 11:49:53 AM PDT by Baladas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nmh

For the record, no one died in any of the fires in Los Angeles county.


22 posted on 10/31/2007 11:53:32 AM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Dante3

Most media in most states (and for that matter some states have laws on it) do not release the names of minors. But, it’s probably a good thing to NOT do. Let the LE folks and DA address it and decide.

Remember CA people put them in office, and therefore, those folks in LE and DA offices are there by CHOICE.


23 posted on 10/31/2007 12:57:45 PM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Visit for lastest on DPRK/Russia/China/Etc --Fred Thompson for Prez.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ClearCase_guy

“The kid set a fire which burned 38,000 acres and destroyed 21 homes. Should he be punished? I’m not wise enough to know the answer.”

Sure you are!

BTW, some people died too ... .


24 posted on 10/31/2007 2:36:59 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: CindyDawg

“I agree that you can try and those that do have less problems. This kid and his family may have a history...I don’t know. I do know that good kids do get in trouble at times. I don’t know the answer here. You could hold the parents financially responsible but who has that kind of money . It would probably bankrupt them and be a no-win for the victims.”

It really doesn’t matter if the kid has a history or not ... bad ones always start somewhere ... and I’m not talking about bankrupting them - just putting some severe financial pain their way.


25 posted on 10/31/2007 2:49:01 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: CindyDawg

“I agree that you can try and those that do have less problems. This kid and his family may have a history...I don’t know. I do know that good kids do get in trouble at times. I don’t know the answer here. You could hold the parents financially responsible but who has that kind of money . It would probably bankrupt them and be a no-win for the victims.”

It really doesn’t matter if the kid has a history or not ... bad ones always start somewhere ... and I’m not talking about bankrupting them - just putting some severe financial pain their way.


26 posted on 10/31/2007 2:49:19 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Baladas
“What I czan’t figure out is if he and/or his family are legal or not - the police sat on this story for over a week.”

Hadn’t thought of that .... now is not a good time for illegals to be misbehaving ... maybe that’s why the HYT ran a story on dead ILLEGALS from this fire? The NYT seemed to forget about everyone else and focus on that - to drum up sympathy if it is an illegal? Who knows!

27 posted on 10/31/2007 2:51:24 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Bubba Ho-Tep

Maybe not in LA country but elsewhere they did.


28 posted on 10/31/2007 2:52:00 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: nmh

No argument here. You have some very good points. Parents should be held accountable for their children’s actions. I’m just saying sometimes no matter how good a job you do, they get in to stuff.


29 posted on 10/31/2007 2:57:41 PM PDT by CindyDawg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: nmh

Yeah, but you’re the one who listed “the deaths of others” as among the things this kid’s parents should pay for.


30 posted on 10/31/2007 2:59:15 PM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Bubba Ho-Tep

Yeah, but you’re the one who listed “the deaths of others” as among the things this kid’s parents should pay for.

“The fire began in an area near Agua Dulce and quickly spread. It was among 15 or so major wildfires that destroyed some 2,100 homes and blackened 809 square miles from Los Angeles to the Mexican border last week. Seven deaths were blamed directly on the fires, six evacuees died of natural causes and one person died of a fall.”

This is where I got the idea that people DIED.

You can’t really “pay” for a death. I was tolking more on the lines of making it painful FINANCIALLY for these parents. The only thing that seems to get the attention of parents is typically $$$$$$.

If it is Bill Gate’s kid, then just send him the bill for all of it. HE can afford it.


31 posted on 10/31/2007 3:04:58 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: nmh

Right, people died in another fire, 100 miles away.


32 posted on 10/31/2007 3:11:55 PM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Bubba Ho-Tep

“Right, people died in another fire, 100 miles away.”

Direct your complaint to FOX news.

THAT was how they reported it.

Fire spreads fast. Do you know for sure that this wasn’t the fire THIS kid started?


33 posted on 10/31/2007 3:32:48 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: nmh

Because this kid’s fire was in Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles. The San Diego fires were a completely separate event, a hundred miles away. The Malibu fires were another separate event, a good 30+ miles from Santa Clarita. None of them were linked. Look at a map.


34 posted on 10/31/2007 3:45:10 PM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Bubba Ho-Tep

Tell that to Fox news.


35 posted on 10/31/2007 3:46:29 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: nmh

It wasn’t me, OK?!


36 posted on 10/31/2007 3:48:19 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Argus

What do you suggest; is a simple hanging okay, or should we be talking full-on crucifixion, here? /s

I’m all for this kid getting a life lesson out of this, but my guess is that he probably already has, especially if he’s aware of the extent of the damage he’s caused. That guilt will never go away.

If anyone believes that additional, physical or monetary punishment would be more effective, they’ve never been in real psychological pain. Physical wounds heal, and you can pretty much always make more money.

Psychological damage is with you for life.


37 posted on 10/31/2007 3:49:06 PM PDT by HKMk23 (Nine out of ten orcs attacking Rohan were Saruman's Uruk-hai, not Sauron's! So, why invade Mordor?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: nmh

Well, Fox did say his fire “was among 15 or so major wildfires” that cumulatively caused that much death and damage. It’s a big topic of discussion now why these fires (and the 2003 fires) were so much more destructive in San Diego county than they were in L.A. county. Basically, it comes down to San Diego dropping the ball on fire readiness and refusing to learn their lesson. They tend to think they can get by on the cheap and just ask for help from outside agencies when they get into trouble. They have two fire-fighting helicopters while L.A. has 11, with pilots who fly all the time and know every inch of their territory, which allows them to fly in more marginal conditions than pilots dared to in San Diego. L.A. has a county fire department. San Diego abolished theirs in the 1970s. The list goes on.


38 posted on 10/31/2007 3:54:05 PM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: nmh

My son was involved in a minor incident a couple of years ago. While waiting for the bus, he and another high-schooler were throwing lighted matches at each other. (STUPID!!) The Laguna Niguel police were called and I had to leave work and meet with the OC Fire Dept. My son was scared out of his wits. The fire captain told me that if the hillside had caught fire, we could be held liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, something that would follow my son for the rest of his life. Believe me, he has never done anything like that again!


39 posted on 10/31/2007 4:00:39 PM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion (Global warming is to Revelations as the theory of evolution is to Genesis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: nmh
It looks like it’s a MINOR.

It LOOKS like it's a minor. Not telling the age would make one think so. Still, I have never heard of not reporting the age. The name is often withheld if it is a minor, but not the age.

With the age not being reported we don't know for sure that it is a minor. I find the age being withheld a tad suspicious. JMO

40 posted on 10/31/2007 4:05:12 PM PDT by Netizen (If we can't locate/deport illegals, how will we get them to come forward to pay their $3,250 fines?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: HKMk23

They just mentioned on fox that this kid was under 10. He was playing with the matches in his back yard when the wind caught it.


41 posted on 10/31/2007 4:08:04 PM PDT by CajunConservative (They can either go quietly or they can go loudly but either way they will go. Bobby Jindal)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: CajunConservative

10 is old enough to know better. Years ago a friend of mine caught her son of about that age, playing with matches and she took him to the fire station. They had a talk with him and suggested that she take him through the burn unit at the hospital. She did and he never played with matches again. He learned a lot from that experience.


42 posted on 10/31/2007 4:14:25 PM PDT by Netizen (If we can't locate/deport illegals, how will we get them to come forward to pay their $3,250 fines?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Netizen

He’s under 10. How much under, they didn’t say.


43 posted on 10/31/2007 4:16:54 PM PDT by CajunConservative (They can either go quietly or they can go loudly but either way they will go. Bobby Jindal)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: HKMk23

Playing with matches in a place like Agua Dulce when winds are gusting up to 100 mph is not okay. Everybody needs to be made aware of this, including kids.


44 posted on 10/31/2007 4:25:44 PM PDT by Argus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: CajunConservative

Yep, under 10 is too vague and by giving that much info they might as well just say how old he is and be done with it.


45 posted on 10/31/2007 4:30:01 PM PDT by Netizen (If we can't locate/deport illegals, how will we get them to come forward to pay their $3,250 fines?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Cicero

One article said he was a pre-teen.


46 posted on 10/31/2007 4:30:57 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (Buy a Mac ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Baladas
What I czan’t figure out is if he and/or his family are legal or not - the police sat on this story for over a week.

Immigrants of some kind? Legal or illegal?

47 posted on 10/31/2007 4:55:53 PM PDT by dennisw (Four and a half acres of sovereign U.S. territory,anytime,anywhere ---- US aircraft carrier)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: BunnySlippers

Well, that’s what “boy” says to me. It would be another story if it was an older teenage punk who knew what he was doing.

When I was about 6, I think, a friend of mine and I got hold of some matches, were playing with them, and managed to set a field of dry grass on fire. Pretty scary.

Fortunately the surrounding woods were green and moist, and the fire department got it out.

I certainly learned my lesson, just running for my life as the flames shot out of control. No need for community service, it wasn’t something I would ever do again.


48 posted on 10/31/2007 5:18:00 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: Cicero

Your telling me thins reminds me of something a friend told me 30 years ago and I haven’t thought of since.

He grew up in a wealthy community in NY state. He and a friend were in a large abandoned house in his neighborhood playing with matches. Well, the house burnt to the ground. He ran home and was never caught.

Sounds like this happens a lot. :)


49 posted on 10/31/2007 5:24:12 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (Buy a Mac ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: nmh

400,000 hours of community service sounds about right.


50 posted on 11/07/2007 5:15:45 PM PST by Disturbin ("Only YOU can prevent forest fires" -Smokey Bear)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson