Two boys have been charged with arson after a New Jersey playground was destroyed by fire. The fire at Wales Park in Linden was allegedly set by two young boys who will be charged with a juvenile crime. The kids are 11 and 13 years old and are facing charges of criminal mischief and arson.
Both of the boys have been released to the custody of their parents until their juvenile court appearance date. No motive has been named, and while they were both purportedly seen in the park, no one saw them actually start the fire. A neighborhood surveillance camera is said to show the boys entering and leaving the park at the time that the fire started. Witnesses apparently say that they left the park and then returned again.
Because of the wood and plastic that the playground equipment was made from, the smoke was thick and heavy. The rubber floor also contributed to a larger, and longer-burning fire. The jungle gym was left with twisted slides, melted pieces and burned swings. It was reported that approximately $80,000 in damage was done to the park, and it could take as much as 12 months for repairs to be made. Many are already calling for the two children to be held financially responsible.
Those charged with juvenile crime in New Jersey have a number of important legal rights, including the presumption of innocence. They are also entitled to be represented by criminal defense counsel. There are important differences between juvenile and adult proceedings. A lawyer experienced in handling these types of cases can be an invaluable asset in navigating the court system while protecting the rights and best interests of a youth facing such serious accusations.
Source: abc7ny.com, “2 boys charged with arson in fire that destroyed playground in Linden, New Jersey”, May 8, 2017