Arrest made in Port St. John playground fire

Mother turned son in after seeing surveillance video

By Justin Warmoth - Anchor

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. - The Brevard County Sheriff's Office arrested one of the two suspects who allegedly burned down the Port St. John Library playground last month.

A 15-year-old boy, who Local 6 is not naming because he's a juvenile, was arrested late Thursday afternoon.

Deputies say they questioned the teen at the Brevard County Juvenile Detention Center and he was eventually released back to his parents.

According to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, the suspect's parents were watching a Local 6 newscast when they spotted their son on the surveillance video. Deputies say they later turned him in.

This all comes after the sheriff's office released surveillance video to Local 6, showing the two teens walking around the Port St. John Library playground right after the fire started. Deputies say the video shows one of the suspects holding a red gas can.

The fire destroyed the playground and blew out some of the windows to the library.

Investigators believe that the teenagers caused more than $21,000 in damages.

Folks at the library raised over $20,000 to build the playground back in 2007 by having bake sales and holiday raffle drawings. They were extremely relieved when they heard there was an arrest.

"So grateful that a parent would be honest enough that they want their son to understand that there are consequences for their actions," said Helen Dezendorf. "I don't know if this will get us any closer to getting a new playground, but it's nice to know that someone is going to be held accountable."

As for the other teen seen in the video, deputies say that he has been identified, but has yet to be located.

Deputies say the two teens will be charged with felony criminal mischief.

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