Youth Arrested In Crown Heights Bus Arson

BROOKLYN -
Members of NYPD and Crown Heights Shjomrim standing next to the burned bus on Sunday afternoon. (Crown Heights Shomrim)
Members of NYPD and Crown Heights Shjomrim standing next to the burned bus on Sunday afternoon. (Crown Heights Shomrim)

An 11-year-old boy has been arrested in the arson of a yeshivah school bus in Crown Heights, the New York Police Department has announced.

The empty bus — owned by BDS Trans. Corp., a Jewish-owned bus company — which was parked outside the Bais Rivka Chomesh Campus on the corner of Lefferts and Brooklyn Aves. in Crown Heights, was set ablaze on Sunday afternoon.

A witness saw four young African American boys fleeing the scene, and alerted Crown Heights Shomrim, Shomrim sources told Hamodia. Shomrim followed the boys until police arrived. However, as the boys denied setting the fire and the witness could not positively identify them, police had to let them go, after taking down their identifying information.

Firefighters extinguishing the blaze. (Crown Heights Shomrim)
Firefighters extinguishing the blaze. (Crown Heights Shomrim)

FDNY firefighters extinguished the blaze. Footage taken at the scene of the blaze shows the engine on fire, the inside of the bus charred and all the windows broken. Charred sefarim lie on the floor.

Upon later review of security-camera footage, police determined that at least one of the boys they had picked up was indeed involved in setting the fire, and on Monday announced his arrest. The 11-year-old has been charged with Arson and Criminal Mischief. As he is a minor, police have not released his name.

The investigation is ongoing, and police are continuing to review footage for further suspects.

Security-camera footage of the arson was obtained by crownheights.info and posted online on Monday. The video shows a group of six youths going onto the bus, while another rides around on a bicycle nearby. The youths set fire to the bus with cardboard boxes before fleeing.