Juveniles Charged in Parkview Arson

Arrests have been made for vandalism and arson that happened Friday at Parkview Elementary School in Meridian.

Charred books, desks and office materials were still strewn on the property Monday.

At least two juveniles have been taken into custody, and investigators say more arrests are expected.

"We are already in the process of contacting their parents to have the juveniles brought in," said Capt. James Sharpe of the Meridian Police Department. "So, I do expect more arrests in this."

Sharpe the two currently in custody are ages 11 and 13. He says both attended either Parkview or nearby Magnolia Middle School. He said the other suspects range between the ages of 9 and 14, and attend or have attended one of the two schools.

The fire Friday was the last of a string of vandalism at Parkview. Within the seven days leading up to the fire, Parkview and Magnolia had been vandalized or burglarized at least four times.

According to investigators, at this point, it does not appear that the vandalism or burglaries were gang-related.

"In their words, they were just being stupid," said Sharpe. "They had nothing else to do and that's why they decided to do this."

Investigators say the Parkview damage is estimated to be well over $50,000. With all of the vandalism at the two schools thought to be related, officers say the suspects will likely face charges for felony vandalism, burglary and arson. Their cases will be handled in youth court.

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