An Alaska teenager is facing serious charges after setting fire to toilet paper in a school bathroom.
A 15-year-old male freshman was charged as a minor and faces a misdemeanor charge of second-degree criminally negligent burning and a felony charge of first-degree terroristic threatening, said police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro.
The reason for the first-degree terroristic threatening felony charge? The incident caused the evacuation of a building, and according to Alaska law, that qualifies as a terroristic act.
The fire, which started in a plastic toilet paper holder connected to a tile wall, was extinguished by the school’s automated sprinkler system.
According to Anchorage Daily News, no one was hurt during the incident:
Eleven units responded to the scene and smoke could be seen seeping out of the first-floor bathroom door about 150 feet away from one of the school’s side entrances, said fire Capt. Chad Richardson. No students were injured by the fire or smoke inhalation, according to Heather Roach, spokeswoman with Anchorage School District. Students and staff were briefly evacuated onto the street and then were relocated to a neighboring middle school and West High’s auditorium.
Richardson said the melted dispenser had fallen from the wall. Crews broke off tile and used a thermal imaging camera to check if the blaze had spread, he said, but it had not.
“Schools aren’t built to burn,” Richardson said.
When I was a kid, I’m pretty sure this sort of thing was called arson, vandalism, or criminal mischief. The felony terrorism charge seems just a bit extreme, no?
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