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Teens set fire to get arrested, visit jailed friend

By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   July 29, 2013 at 11:34 AM   |   Comments

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July 29 (UPI) -- Two teens in a remote Manitoba, Canada community set fire to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) station in a plan to get arrested and flown to a Winnipeg juvenile jail so they could visit their friend, who is currently facing arson charges.

RCMP officers in the fly-in St. Theresa Point community say an emerging "gang" of youths have been going on sprees of mayhem and destruction on Sundays, dubbing the ritual "Bad Ass Sundays."

The boys, 13 and 14, were arrested after what's known locally as the "justice building" caught fire and was destroyed in the early morning July 21.

The boys allegedly picked the lock to the RCMP with a paper clip then used matches and a lighter to set paper on fire.

The younger boy, who had no record or other pending charges, admitted the joint arson was an attempt to get out of the community and into the Manitoba Youth Centre.

Crown attorney Courtney St. Croix argued against bail for the younger teen, saying "RCMP in the area are particularly concerned because a group of young individuals seem to be establishing some type of a gang."

"If they're willing to (allegedly) burn down an RCMP detachment to come hang out with their friend, I'm concerned about what else they'll be willing to do to bring themselves back to jail," St. Croix said.

Judge Rocky Pollack, legally bound by the Youth Criminal Justice Act, gave the boy his freedom with restrictions attached.

An RCMP spokeswoman couldn't provide a full damage estimate, but said damage to "RCMP assets" totalled about $20,000. RCMP leased the building from the Island Lake Tribal Council.

The teens' friend already in lockup is being held for his suspected involvement in torching an RCMP truck and a local arena, allegedly as part of Bad Ass Sundays.

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