MLPD arrests two juvenile arson suspects

On Thursday, September 8, 2011 at approximately 5:30 p.m., Mammoth Lakes Police Officers Art Torres and Jesse Gorham responded to a call on Lupin Street.  They met with a resident who had MLPD 3-23-10discovered a smoldering pile of needles on his wooden deck.  He also observed two 10-12 year old juveniles fleeing the area.  The resident also observed three lighters, dry grass, a burnt pen, and what appeared to be school papers.

The officers examined the school work and noted the first name and last initial of a student.  They then contacted former School Resource Officer Andy Lehr who was able to provide follow-up information on the location of one of the subjects.  The officers responded to the juvenile’s residence and spoke to the parents who called their son and told him to come home.  It was later learned that at the time of the phone call, the two juveniles were in the Shady Rest Tract in the process of starting another fire.

Both juveniles confessed to attempting to start the fire at the residence.  They were arrested for Penal Code Section 451(b) (Arson of an Inhabited Structure) and released to their parents.  The case has been forwarded to Juvenile Probation.

According to police, this investigation clearly demonstrates the value of the MLPD’s School Resource Officer (SRO) position.  One of the benefits of having an SRO is that the officer gets to know the students and who they associate with.  As a result of the quick follow-up to the student’s home and the call from his parents, a tragedy may have been avoided.  A few more minutes and there may have been a conflagration in the Shady Rest Tract.

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Sierra Lady
Sierra Lady
10 years ago

Did you know that any member of any community may ride-along with a Police Officer, Firefighter and/or Paramedic? All you need to do is call to arrange it and sign a liability waiver. The experience is not only eye-opening, but invaluable. In the last few years I have been on two ride-along’s with the MLPD, one with the MLFD and one with the Mono County Paramedics.

This last MLPD ride-along was on a “quiet” Wednesday night, 8/31/11. Before we set out on the streets, the Sergeant showed me how the department’s computer reporting system worked, reviewed the impossible schedule they keep with the few officers that they have and educated me on how they are trained to recognize different signs of being under the influence. Our shift together ended up with several interesting calls, plus two arrests. With only two officers on from 4:00 p.m. until 2:00 a .m. that left the graveyard shift officer to take one perp to Bridgeport jail and another officer had to be called in who was off-duty to take the other perp to jail later in the evening.

I highly recommend for those of you who question the need for more personnel on our (or your) police force that you volunteer to ride-along with an officer in your community and educate yourself about the reality instead of perception.

B. Richter,
Mammoth Lakes Community Response Team Historian

Sierra Lady
Sierra Lady
10 years ago
Reply to  Sierra Lady

Oops…in my signature line I left out one important word: “Emergency”. I’m a volunteer with the Mammoth Lakes Community Emergency Response Team. Any Mammoth Lakes resident can also take this free training and become a member when they hold their annual academy. Call the MLPD for more information.

B. Richter

Bounty Hunter
Bounty Hunter
10 years ago
Reply to  Sierra Lady

This is an example of the excellent community outreach that the new chief in Mammoth has been implimenting as well as the Citizens Police Academy.

It looks like MLPD has recoverd from the recent past and is once again setting the example for other agencies in the area to follow.

Big Rick
Big Rick
10 years ago
Reply to  Sierra Lady

“PERP?” Really? You’ve been watching too many NYPD shows.”

Grrrr!
Grrrr!
10 years ago
Reply to  Big Rick

More like NYPD Blue – Sipowicz used that term a lot…

Grrrr!
Grrrr!
10 years ago
Reply to  Big Rick

It was Sipowicz from NYPD Blue…

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
10 years ago

Stupid kids…..

hanes
hanes
10 years ago

Tourbillion, you must have some deep seated problems to make such a moronic statement…

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
10 years ago

“According to police, this investigation clearly demonstrates the value of the MLPD’s School Resource Officer (SRO) position.” Indeed it do. Remember that “value” kids, next time a SRO sidles up to you pretending to be your pal.

johndoeml
johndoeml
10 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

I’m really happy that the Shady Rest Tract didn’t burn down and take a bunch of condos with it.