Haines City Police Department Press Release:
HAINES CITY, FL – A 16-year-old Haines City High School student was arrested Thursday and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center for starting a fire at a school bathroom Wednesday afternoon.
Justin Darnell Williams is being charged with arson and disruption of a school function after setting a portion of the boys’ bathroom on fire about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday – a half-hour before dismissal. The fire alarm was activated and students were evacuated.
School administrators used extinguishers to put out the fire. The Haines City Fire Department assisted.
There were no injuries.
During the investigation, it was learned that Williams was skipping class at the time of the incident and was in the boys’ bathroom for about eight minutes before evacuating during the fire. Williams told detectives that he started the fire as a prank and had no intentions of harming anyone.
“We’re grateful that no one was hurt, but this so-called prank could have had serious ramifications,” Chief Jim Elensky said. “Any incident that endangers the lives of our students, educators and school staff will be fully investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I applaud our officers and detectives for their quick work in this case.”