Four local teens were arrested for arson after allegedly igniting the toilet paper roll in a port-a-potty near the Hillside Pool, causing a small brush fire that spread to the Hillside Woods, police said.
On Wednesday, April 11 at about 2:20 p.m., Hastings Police received a call from a village rec. department reporting the Port-a-sand located at the Hillside Pool/Tennis Courts had been tipped over and was on fire.
Hastings Police Officers Michael Pacheco and Robert Gagliardi were dispatched with the Hastings Volunteer Fire Department. The Officers reported that they quickly extinguished the fire with the assistance of Hastings recreation staff.
Upon investigation, it was determined that it appeared as if toilet paper in the unit was set on fire, and that it was then tipped over. A large hole on the side on the unit had burned through, and embers had spread to a small area in the Hillside Woods.
Luckily, the area surrounding the Hillside Pool/Tennis courts is monitored by the Village Technology Department’s camera system. Officer Pacheco said he had focused the camera on the area of the toilet earlier that day.
Officers reviewed the video and reported seeing four male youths run from the scene after the port-a-John was tipped over. Shortly thereafter, the smoke became visible from the unit.
Officers canvassed the area for the youths, ultimately locating three of them at the They were transported to the police station where their parents were called, and they were subsequently charged with:
- Arson in the Fifth Degree (Class A Misdemeanor)
- Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree (Class A Misdemeanor)
The juveniles were two males, 13, and one male, 12. The fourth youth, also 13, was found later at this home and was charged with the same counts.
Because of the ages of the youths, their identities and addresses will not be released. All four of the juveniles will appear in Yonkers Family Court either on April 17 or 19.
The Port-a-toilet was damaged in the amount of about $1,000.