VERMILION -- Police caught two boys, both 11, who set the Vermilion Middle School playground on fire, causing $30,000 in damage.
Police were sent to the playground at the Vermilion Middle School just after 3 p.m. Monday for a report of a fire.
The officer arrived and saw three young juveniles running from the scene. The only description was one of the juveniles had on blue shorts and possibly a grey shirt.
The officer spoke with a neighbor who stated that he did not observe any juveniles but had come out after the fire started. While speaking with him, another person walked by and said that there was a bike left along side of the South Street Pre-School building.
The officer went to see if the bike had a license. While walking over to the bike he noticed a lighter, lighter fluid and a pack of cigarettes under a slide at the Pre-School playground.
He took it as evidence. He then looked toward the fire and saw two boys and one girl watching the fire burn. One of the boys had blue shorts and a grey T-shirt. He then went to speak with them.
As he got closer he recognized the three.
Being the SRO, he had dealt with the two boys on several occasions.
They all three said that they saw three teenagers running from the playground. One had a "DC" hat and a Bob Marley shirt on. One boy said he recognized one teen.
The officer knew the teen had moved away several years ago.
A school official said the damage was about $30,000 and that there was a dummy camera on the corner of the old South St. School.
The officier spoke to the girl privately and said there were cameras and we would be able to see what happened.
She then said she met the two boys at the playground. She said that they had smoke bombs and where lighting them off. She stated that she didn't know what happened but when she turned around the playground was on fire and one boy was trying to put it out with his shoe but couldn't.
She said the fire got really big and they ran and called 911.
The officer spoke to one of the boys privately and he told the same story.
The second boy said the other boy stole lighter fluid from Drug Mart. He said that they went to the playground to meet the girl.
Police charged both boys with arson, a 4th degree felony.
They were taken to the Erie County Detention Home.