Eight and Nine Year Old Face Juvenile Court After Playground Fire

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

As of Monday, Terry Foster of Jackson had put 26 hours into the clean up of Partnership Park following a fire that badly damaged the park back in August.

"I just want this to get done so it can get back to normal to where kids can come and play," said Foster.

All that is left of the playground is a few pieces of charred plastic and rubber. Nearby trees are still scarred from the flames. It is hard to believe the fire was started by kids.

"There were a lot of people that came by who were disgusted by the way it was done," said Foster.

After an investigation by Jackson Police determined two boys, ages eight and nine, started the fire, Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney, Hank Zavislak, wants people to know that behavior is unacceptable.

"There was sufficient information to charge those young children within the juvenile court," said Zavislak. "As a result of that, we petitioned both of those children on arson related charges, which, of course, are very serious.

Zavislak says the petition will attempt a court order to enroll the boys into a program for kids who intentionally set fires. The petition will also seek restitution for the damages.

"If these were 14 and 15 year olds, we could petition the court to go into adult court and subject them to the same kind of prison penalties," said Zavislak.

Foster says, he just wants the boys held responsible.

"Eight and nine, that's fine, but if you did it, you need to be punished," said Foster.

Since the boys are both juveniles, Jackson County will not release their names or hearing time. However, Zavislak says the hearing should happen soon.

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  • by Anonymous on Oct 2, 2012 at 06:32 AM
    As serious as this is, I find it funny that when kids get into trouble the first thing everybody cries for is the prosecution of the parents. Put yourself in the senario. Your kid goes to the mall with a friend and the friends parents. Your kids gets caught attempting to shoplift. An hour later the police are at your door to haul you off to jail and charges are pressed against you. Outside of abusive or "dangerous" parenting practices, bad parenting isn't a crime. It's easy to say, "lets prosecute the parents" until you actually get to go through that situation. Yes, the kids should be held accountable. A few months in a juvenile detention center and a year or so helping to clean up the parks of Jackson county would probably be sufficient along with the programs the court assigns. Do you think an 8 and 9 year old have enough in their piggy banks to pay for a new park? The parents will foot that bill. with that price tag, the punishment for the parents will be economic. But wait, us middle classers don't have to worry about that because only poor people have bad kids and do drugs apparently.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 2, 2012 at 01:18 AM
    Are the parents going to be held responsible?
  • by Richard Location: Jackson on Oct 2, 2012 at 12:01 AM
    I heard both families are from the slums in Jackson. The parents should be also held accountable and prosecuted. A search warrant would also probably reveal drugs in their homes. This is how kids have these behavioral issues.
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