Three students in Lee County plotted to set their school on fire. Luckily, that arson didn’t happen and Lee County deputies are crediting classmates with preventing this attack.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office wants other students and all parents to see these three kids. WINK News has blurred the faces of the children involved because they are only 11-years-old.
More than one student came to deputies saying that the three suspects threatened to set them on fire if they “snitched.”
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno says this case is different. “Kids are going to be kids but this is different,” said Sheriff Marceno.
The reason the sheriff says this is different is that these students hoped to set fire to the second floor of Six Mile Charter Academy so that “the rude people would die in the fire.”
“It’s sad to say we’re still talking about school violence every single day,” Sheriff Marceno said.
Susan Wohlert has a grandchild at Six Mile Charter Academy. “It’s scary because when you have children in school you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Wohlert said.
The arrest report for these children states that they each had the time “2:30” written on their hands. Other students who overheard the plan told sheriff’s deputies that that was the time they intended to set the second-floor girls’ bathroom on fire.
One student claims that one of the suspects threatened to set her on fire as well if she snitched. But, she told authorities anyway.
Higinio Santiago has a granddaughter at Six Mile Charter Academy and says that his grandaughter knows the suspects in this case. “She heard something but she didn’t really know what he was talking about,” said Santiago.
“I told her next time you hear someone say something you go to the principal or you go to the teacher,” Santiago said.
“Children are afraid because of peer pressure to snitch on anyone else but I think it’s really important they have to step up as well,” said Wohlert.
“Every single threat we get we investigate fully and we put someone behind bars,” said Sheriff Marceno.
A judge sent those three students to juvenile detention for 21 days. But, because they are only 11-years-old, the law says they cannot be tried as adults in the State of Florida.
The administration at Six Mile Charter Academy told WINK News they’re proud of the brave student who heard about the plot and came forward.