Police say a 14-year-old boy who lives in Cudd trailer court, 1450 S. Wasson Lane, will be referred to juvenile court authorities and charged with negligent handling of burning materials. The boy said he accidentally started a blaze in the trailer court Saturday night that charred two adjoining homes.
The blaze was doused by an alert neighbor manned with water from a garden hose. Police officers and firefighters responded soon after and began their investigation.
The teenage boy was apparently trying to light a blaze in a fire pit using gasoline. His gas can was leaking and caught fire.
The boy said he burned his hand, panicked and tossed the can, which caused the fire to spread on the ground. Another person tried helping by throwing the leaky gas can further away over a fence. That merely spread the fire again, this time to the side of another trailer home.
Also in the past week, police:Dealt with more vandalism at the site of the old Bruce Foster home, 404 S. Winter St., next to the Falls Street Bridge near the power plant. The Foster property is now used for a series of community garden plots that send produce to the River Falls Food Pantry. Vandals kicked in a garage door in an attempt to get into the boarded-up house. A car was also driven on the lawn, and a bird house and snow fence was damaged. This case is under investigation. Call police at 425-0909 if you have information.Arrested a 23-year-old rural River Falls man for walking on the roof of the old City Hall, 123 E. Elm St., Saturday night. The man, along with another male suspect who got away, said he slipped into the partly vacated building via a broken window from the alley. Inside the building, he climbed a ladder to the rooftop and walked around. He said he meant no harm, but his trespassing resulted in a $172 fine.Arrested a 53-year-old local man for domestic disorderly conduct and property damage at an apartment in the 600 block of North Clark Street. The man, who’d been drinking, came home and was upset at one of his male roommates for not fixing supper. So the man started to make his own spaghetti but was using salsa instead of sauce. The roommate got mad, told him to stop, and that led to arguing and name calling. Finally a second roommate joined the first to force the man out of the apartment, but he tried getting back in by breaking a window. Officers were called. The man was taken away to county jail in Hudson.Cited a 19-year-old rural River Falls man for obstruction, driving while suspended (because of a drunk-driving conviction) and exhibition of power for actions that allegedly took place just before 2 a.m. Sunday in the area of Wasson Lane and East Cascade Avenue. The young man was supposedly squealing tires so much they left a cloud of smoke. When a police sergeant tried to pull the man over, he allegedly got out, looked at the officer and fled, leaving his car running, lights on, in the middle of a rental building parking lot at 805 S. Wasson Lane. The car, a Mercedes, was towed and impounded. Police caught up with the man at his parent’s home next day. There, he was contrite, saying he was afraid that getting caught the night before would have ruined his life forever. He was given fines totaling just under $800 and warned against driving again until his license was reinstated.
For more Police Beat, see the June 17 print edition of the River Falls Journal.
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