Chief scoffs at boy's claim he vandalized building to kill spide - KMSP-TV

Chief scoffs at boy's claim he vandalized building to kill spiders

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This multi-unit apartment/condo building in Riverside sustained extensive damage when a boy sprayed a water hose inside, damage the fire alarm system. He claimed he was killing spiders. / photo from Riverside police This multi-unit apartment/condo building in Riverside sustained extensive damage when a boy sprayed a water hose inside, damage the fire alarm system. He claimed he was killing spiders. / photo from Riverside police
RIVERSIDE, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A teenage boy charged with causing thousands of dollars damage to a west suburban building by spraying water claimed he was trying to kill spiders, an alibi police call “ridiculous.”

Just after 1 p.m. Wednesday, the Riverside Police and Fire departments were called to 109 Lincoln Ave., a multi-unit apartment/condo building that also encompasses 111 and 113 Lincoln Ave., a statement from police said.

Firefighters found three alarms activated in the basement, where someone had sprayed water with a garden hose, leaving large puddles and causing the activation of an alarm panel board and two fire alarm pull stations.

When police and firefighters walked out of the basement, they saw a boy “standing in the stairway covered in water,” police said.

He told police he got wet while playing at a friend’s house, but when police said they would check, he admitted that “he purposely soaked the fire alarm panel and pull stations,” police said.

The boy was taken to the station with his father, and eventually charged with criminal damage to property and criminal damage to a fire/alarm system, both felonies; and a misdemeanor count of reckless conduct, police said.

Fire officials and building maintenance personnel determined damage to the fire system was in the thousands of dollars, but no estimate for building damage was immediately available, according to police.

Asked why he did it, the boy said he was “having problems with spiders in his apartment and believed that they originated from the basement, so he was going to soak the entire basement to get rid of spiders,” according to police.

Police Chief Thomas Weitzel didn’t buy it. “The statement given by the juvenile that he was trying to rid the building of spiders is completely ridiculous,” he said in the statement.

He said the boy’s actions left residents at risk.

“The apartment and condo complex was occupied at the time of this incident and the fire alarm system is still out of service and may take several days to completely repair,” Weitzel said.

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