YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Vehicles were torched in Westchester County, and the suspects are shockingly young.
Boys — still in grade school — have been accused of setting the fires.
As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, it’s hard to believe that two kids — who police said are under the age of 11 — would do this much damage, but one vehicle was completely gutted by the flames.
A Jaguar sedan was destroyed by flames — the inside totally charred. The pickup truck next to it was heavily damaged outside the Castle Royale Catering Hall on Waverly Street in Yonkers.
Police said it was no accident.
Two arson suspects were being questioned, and a source said the boys are just 8 and 9-years-old.
“This is very unlike anything I’ve ever seen happening anywhere, before and to hear that it was little kids is especially troubling,” Casino Royale, sales manager, Harrison Squire said.
Squire said he was stunned by how young the suspects are.
Sources told CBS2 the car belongs to a friend of the Castle Royale owner who only parked it there hours before the blaze was set at about 6:30 p.m. Monday.
Smoke damage went all the way up the side of the Westchester School for Special Children next door.
“Even the responders that went to the car fire, it’s a dangerous situation, but fortunately no one was hurt and we do believe we know who the persons responsible are,” Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner said.
Gardner said the boys, whose names aren’t being released because of their age, are also accused of vandalizing two other vehicles in the area – breaking their windows.
“When you have two young individuals involved in crime it’s somewhat sensitive, but as I said they’re not charged in criminal court it would be held in family court,” Gardner said.
Neighbor Darlene Pierce said she has an 8-year-old grandson and wonders how the boys parents could allow this to happen.
“They could have started the fire and burn themselves up, it’s just difficult. You have to be a hard parent, you have to be tough,” she said.
Others said youngsters need more positive activities during the summer to keep them out of such trouble.
“There has to be something constructive for kids to do, and there isn’t and it’s a shame, it’s a shame,” Charlie Williams said.
The Castle Royale manager said they are now reviewing their security measures.
“To reassure our clients and our guests that they are safe and that we have security and close circuit cameras on our facilities during events,” Squire said.
Sources told CBS2’s Conybeare the boys have already been released to their parents who could be forced to pay for the damage.