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News Release

Monday, August 16, 1999

Media Relations

School Fire

Monday, August 16, 1999

On August 15, 1999, at 1:50 P.M., Los Angeles Police Department Officers from Wilshire Division responded to a Radio Call in the 2100 block of Thurman Avenue, "Possible Burglar Suspects There Now." The location is a private school by the name of "International Children's School" which shut down operations in October of 1997.

Three responding police units and the Air Unit were able to contain a number of suspects who were on the school grounds and three suspects who were on an adjoining street. The officers found seven suspects who were hiding together in one of the classrooms. Because of a fire, which had been started in the school office, Los Angeles Fire Department Units arrived and ensured that the fire was put out. The subsequent investigation of the school determined that vandalism caused by vandals amounted to more than $100,000 in damages. The School's owner, Mrs. Gloria Searls, stated she had starting the process of attempting to reopen the school.

Wilshire Area Officers arrested Seven Juveniles ranging in ages from 15 to 17 years and three adults. All ten arrestees were booked for Arson at Wilshire Station. The three adults are identified as Norberto Munoz, age 19; Mathew Hernandez, age 18; and Mike Tovar, age 18.

There is no evidence that the school was vandalized because of any racial, religious, or ethnic reasons. There is no evidence, which connects this incident with any other crimes of a similar nature.

Los Angeles Police Detectives and the Los Angeles Fire Department Arson Investigator will be conducting the follow-up investigation.

For Release 1:00 pm PDT
August 16, 1999