Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 51 Posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 648 times:
I couldn't believe my eyes when I read this. A 12 year old punk sets a fire, burned down 4 houses, and HE'S The victim here?
This kid should not only be tried as an adult, but should get many decades in prison and him and his family should be ordered to pay as much restitution and/or punitive damages to those that lost their homes.
Why are people feeling sorry for this kid? What did he do to deserve "sympathy"?
This is what happens when you don't punish your kids when they misbehave.
I say get this kid, and make him help rebuild those houses-under the watch of some demi-automatic weapons. And once those homes are rebuilt, make him smash rocks with a sledgehammer for 20 hours a day until he's 85 years old.
Crime: Charges follow a four-month probe in San
Clemente. A summer visitor, he allegedly 'wanted to see what a big fire would look like.'
Costly Condo Blaze Blamed on Texas Boy
By MAI TRAN and MONTE MORIN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
A 12-year-old Texas boy was charged Friday with setting a San Clemente brush fire that tore through Trafalgar Canyon in August, destroying six homes and causing more than $4 million in property damage.
The boy was spending the summer with a family in San Clemente and "wanted to see what a big fire would look like," said Tori Richards, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office. He allegedly tossed matches into parched brush at the bottom of the coastal canyon near San Clemente Pier, prosecutors said.
Two other minor boys--brothers in the home where the suspect was staying--witnessed the fire but have not been charged, officials said. The brothers tried to snuff out the fire, but the suspect held them back, authorities said. The charges cap a four-month investigation by the Orange County Fire Authority, which officials said was complicated by reluctant witnesses and lengthy negotiations with the suspect's family and lawyer.
"Investigators had a good idea initially who did this, but they still had to do a lot of work," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Joe Williams. "There was a lot of reluctance on the part of a lot of people to come forward. Also, when you're dealing with a minor, there's a presumption that they don't know right from wrong. The investigators had to prove that he knew he was doing something wrong."
Prosecutors did not name any of the boys involved because they are minors. John Barnett, the suspect's lawyer, declined to comment on the matter Friday.
The boy, who lives with his parents in El Paso, remains there. Prosectors say they hope the family will bring him to Orange County voluntarily, where he will be tried in Juvenile Court on three counts of arson to an inhabited structure and one count of arson to a forest. If the boy's family refuses to bring him to California, prosecutors will seek to extradite him, Richards said.
At the site of the fire Friday, residents and victims expressed relief that charges had been filed, but had sympathy for the suspect. Neighbors said the boy and the two brothers were often seen skateboarding and fooling around.
"It's a terrible burden for a 12-year-old; it's real sad," said Barbara Sullivan. Sullivan and her husband, Richard, lost their condo to the fire and now live in a rental unit a mile away. They are trying to rebuild the gutted condo.
"I'm not mad at him," Sullivan said. "I feel bad for him. . . . It's a hard lesson for this child."
The fire erupted at 3:20 p.m. Aug. 1, as the boys played along the beach-side canyon. Prosecutors say that after setting the fire, the suspect prevented the others from stopping it because he wanted to see how large it would grow. When the blaze got out of control, the suspect allegedly told a nearby lifeguard about it and ran.
Fueled by ocean breezes and heavy coastal sage, the fire raced up a steep, quarter-mile slope before engulfing a million-dollar condominium complex on Cazador Lane. The fire then jumped to a second complex and destroyed more units.
No one was injured in the fire, but dozens of residents were forced to evacuate as more than 100 firefighters battled the blaze. Several witnesses reported seeing two or three teenagers running from the area near the beach where the fire broke out.
The district attorney's office said it will seek victim restitution from the boy's parents.
Residents of the neighborhood said the boys were a fixture of the summer scene and were known for their mischievousness.
"They were bright boys," said Gayle Pentoney, who lives next to several condos that were destroyed.
As an example, Pentoney said the boys figured out how to open an automobile security gate from the outside, which allowed them access to a hot tub in one condo complex.
Today, scorched foundations are all that remain of many of the homes. Yellow caution tape still rings many properties, and lots have been gated off.
Lynda Carpenter, whose home shared a wall with a condo that was reduced to cinders, said her family is still struggling to cope with the disaster. Her brother, she said, still gets upset when he sees fires broadcast on television.
"It's sad how many lives it has impacted. People have gotten sick, they've gotten stressed out, and it's still going on," Carpenter said. "It's mind-boggling."
LY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 11 Reply 1, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 604 times:
I bet the asshole will not spend a day in any kind of detention facility. It's amazing that someone can actually destroy the homes of 4 families, endanger the lives of dozens of emergency personnel, destroy a whole bunch of trees, and still get no real punishment (we all know that is exactly what's going to happen). Yup, one of the main reason is most likely some bad (but extremely common) parenting. At his age, I would expect him to know that setting fire to a forest is not a good idea.
VirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 545 times:
The same thing happened in Novia Scotia aka Liberal Canada The very same thing was done for a bratty 12 year old punk kid who derailed a VIA train injuring dozens. 10 Seroiulsy. The mayor of the town the train derailed in even felt sorry for him. What a freakin joke! The dumbass should feel sorry for the people on the train! He got off with a slap on the wrist and you still have people who are in the hospital or on disabiltiy because of this 12 year old. nice to know liberal Canadian justice is serving criminals better than the innocent I wonder if Cnada still plans to give the terrorists who blew up Air India 182 in 1985 25 years concurent. Their motto is to litterally screw over families and give criminals liniency. over 350 people were murdered on the flight including 20 kids below age 15. Enitre famileis were wiped out. Until Candians get tough on crime you will not see me spend my tourist dollars there! They nearly fumbled in the Charles Ng serial killer extradtion trial. They were actually thinking of giving a light jail sentence to a monster who muredered 10 inculding 2 families of 3 and raped, toutured and murdered 2 girls who he tried to turn into sex slaves with his cohort Lenard Lake (He commited suicide in jail) I see that they have not learned from their mistakes. The mass murder laws need to be strenghthened. They are a total joke!
VonRichtofen From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 4621 posts, RR: 40 Reply 6, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 513 times:
Here we go again eh? Funny, I don't see anywhere how Canada has anything to do with the thread...
Oh and don't be pissed at Canadians, be pissed at our POS Liberal government. You see, not all Canadians are bleeding heart liberals like you seem to assume. Why don't you come out west? Where I'm from (the west) a huge majority are right wing. Most people in Canada think our laws are a joke. They are a joke, I don't understand what is up with Easterners being so left-wing. Our Prime minister is a bumbling liberal idiot yet every election he gets voted back because of bleeding heart easterners who out number the westerners. I think it's because Eastern provinces get more from the government than any other provinces.
Another thing, my province (Alberta) is the wealthiest in the country, we have the highest standard of living and the lowest taxes. We're also the most "American" province economically (less government control). In most other provinces even liquor stores are run by the government. I don't think it's mere coincidence that the best province in the country has a right-wing leader, and less government control. Anyway, enough rambling.
JAT From Canada, joined Feb 2000, 1095 posts, RR: 10 Reply 7, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 504 times:
I'm taking a law course in high school right now, in Toronto, and I found that Canadian laws are quite tough. The problem is that judges hand out much lighter sentences compared to what they can give out.