When I picture an arsonist, I imagine a stealthy, grown man, wearing dark clothing and a mask. He’s deranged, shadowy, and possibly drug addicted. Maybe I should adjust my mental picture.
Remember the fire last week at Sobrante Park Elementary School? Two brothers, ages 12 and 16, have since been charged with arson and vandalism. They live in the neighborhood and used to go to school at the school they are accused of damaging.
Here’s what the police told us: The younger brother, who goes to Madison Middle School, said he found the portable unlocked one day and went in to steal marker pens. He went back two days later, and when found it unlocked again, he ran to get his big brother.
The two brothers then started throwing papers around the art room (shown here, to the right); the older one said he lit a piece of paper on fire and dropped it to the floor.
He said it was an accident.
top image from Back to Bront’s site at flickr.com. Below image by Tribune photographer Ray Chavez