Teens Arrested In Firebombing Investigation
By John Emerson
LIBERTY September 22, 2000 -- A Sheriffs Department investigation of a firebombing incident along Ferndale-Loomis Road in Liberty ended last week with the arrest of several teenaged boys.
Sullivan County Sheriff Dan Hogue said the four youths, all between 16 and 17 years old, are eligible for youthful offender status and refused to release their identities. The final arrests in the case, which dates back to August 31, were made last Friday.
Hogue said that on the night of August 31 the young men hurled two Molotov cocktail-like incendiary devices at a home on Ferndale-Loomis Road. The devices were made from jars of lighter fluid and designed to spread fire as the jars broke and lighter fluid ignited.
As the young men drove by the home, they apparently threw the jars at the house, although neither reached the building.
One of the things hit the front lawn and burned a section of grass, and the other didnt go off at all, Hogue said. Fortunately, nobody was injured and nothing was really damaged, except the lawn.
A motorist passing the house noticed the fire and informed the owner, who called the fire department, Hogue said. Detective Lt. Anthony Suarez, assisted by Liberty Fire Chief Joe Maxwell, conducted the investigation leading to the arrests, he said.
The impetus for the attempted arson was a jilted boyfriend. Hogue said one of the young men had recently broken up with a girlfriend and blamed the broken relationship on a 16-year-old girl who lived in the house. He said the others involved with the incident were friends of the jilted boyfriend.
All four youths were charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree attempted arson and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. All of the youths are free on bail pending further court action.