W.Va. teen charged with arson

October 24, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.VA. - Before a 15-year-old boy was arrested for setting two fires at Jefferson High School on Tuesday, there was another fire Wednesday that police believe was a "copycat" incident.

A paper towel dispenser in one of the bathrooms where Tuesday's fires were set was burned Wednesday at about 10 a.m., according to Cpl. R.S. Sell of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

The fire caused smoke and toxic fumes to build up in the area, Sell said.

The 15-year-old arrested in Tuesday's fires was charged with fourth-degree arson and was waiting late Wednesday afternoon to be taken to the Vicki Douglas Center, a juvenile detention center in Martinsburg, W.Va., Sell said.

The boy was arrested after officials viewed a videotape from a camera surveillance system at Jefferson High School, Sell said.

The video showed everyone that went in and out of the men's and women's student bathrooms at the rear of the school on Tuesday where fires were set in trash cans, Sell said.


Police talked to everyone who had been in the bathrooms and the arrest occurred as a result of witness statements, Sell said.

Sell could not provide a motive for the setting of Tuesday's fires.

"He's not saying much," Sell said.

The fires are not the only incidents officials have investigated at the school along Flowing Springs Road since last week.

Last Thursday, deputies were called to the school at 11:19 a.m. after a student turned in a paper that caused concern among school officials, police said.

The male student turned the paper in as part of a class assignment, police said.

The student was taken to the sheriff's office, where he made a comment "that could be considered a credible threat of violence," according to a press release from the sheriff's office.

The Herald-Mail Articles