MARYLAND

Teens arrested on arson charges for Laurel playground fire

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Police have arrested two juveniles, both boys under 16, to face arson charges in connection with a fire at a playground in Laurel Saturday night.

It was the second fire set at a playground in Laurel in recent days and now police are investigating whether the two are connected.

The Discovery Community Park fire last Sunday caused $100,000 in damage. Saturday night's blaze at Gude Park was much smaller.

“It looked like spray paint and then we got closer,” says Karen Adams.

“I’ve never seen something like that here and I’ve lived in Laurel for awhile, so I’m surprised somebody’s willing to destroy property, particularly public property,” says Karen Wilson.

But Friday night, the oasis of fun was a crime scene.

Witnesses tell police they saw two boys trying to start a fire at the playground. Someone called police and arriving officers arrested two who were running away.

“I just think it’s ridiculous,” says Adams. “I don’t see the point of burning playgrounds.”

“I think it’s messed up,” says Damien Grabisch, 12.

Even kids like Grabisch wonder who would do such a thing.

“If they burned down the Discovery Park then they’re going to burn down every other park and start burning down random stuff,” he says.

The boys are in the custody of their parents and their cases will likely be handled in juvenile court.

“I’m just happy they caught them, but I’m sad someone felt the need to do something so tragic,” says Wilson.

Laurel officials hope to have Discovery Park fully repaired by summer.

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