2 juveniles in-custody, Additional suspects being sought
Sedona AZ (October 30, 2018) – On October 24, 2018, around 4 PM, criminal damage and arson was discovered at the Big Park School, 25 Saddlehorn Road, Village of Oak Creek. The investigation led to the arrest of 2 juveniles, both 15-years-old, who reside in the area. Additional suspects are being sought. The charges include Burglary, Arson, Aggravated Criminal Damage and Trespassing. Property damage is estimated at $1500 and likely to grow as school officials evaluate the cost of repair/replacement. Big Park school was recently closed due to district restructuring.
Deputies met with a school official at the indicated date and time, and were taken to a classroom on campus where damage was found. This particular classroom door had been propped open and a large metal desk placed in the opening. It is unknown how this door, normally locked, was opened. A striker tool, used to ignite propane torches, was located and apparently used to try and ignite papers towel found nearby. Cabinet doors had been opened, the contents of multiple boxes stored on tables were ransacked, and broken glass was found on the floor by the doorway. It appeared as if a glass object had been thrown against the wall. There was also a pile of burned items in the middle of the room including books and papers. Deputies noted the suspects had started a fire inside a trash can which was apparently extinguished. Fire extinguisher powder coated all areas of the room. Drawings of male genitalia were seen on whiteboards and on one of the whiteboards, someone had written a name and tried to erase it. Deputies were able to read the name which was noted for follow-up.
During further investigation, an adjoining room was found with fire extinguisher powder coating the interior.
Deputies spent several hours gathering evidence, including shoe print images visible in the fire extinguisher powder residue.
The next afternoon, deputies located the juvenile named on the whiteboard at Sedona’s Red Rock High School. He was wearing shoes with an exact print found at the crime scene. He claimed his friend, now a second suspect, was the one who wrote his name on the board while admitting to the arson and vandalism. The suspect indicated they had accessed the school grounds and classrooms every few days over recent weeks to ‘hang out.’ He was arrested and booked into the Juvenile Detention Facility in Prescott.
Around 6 pm, deputies located the second suspect at his home in the Village of Oak Creek. He admitted to some vandalism, but not arson. He also indicated there were several others possibly involved. The second suspect was arrested and booked into the Juvenile Detention facility in Prescott on the indicated charges, except for the arson charge which remains under investigation.
If anyone has information on additional suspects, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 928-771-3260 and refer to case 18-039042. An anonymous tip may be left with Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232.