Law Enforcement, Community Team Up To Catch Students Setting Fire On Local School’s Property
By Wayne Ivey, Brevard Sheriff // December 3, 2016
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – As I have always said, it takes a community to protect a community and as such tonight, I would like to recognize 3 of our outstanding citizens for helping us protect Brevard County!
This past Sunday, Barry Cook, Steven Pittman and Mark Rush all observed a suspicious incident that was taking place at Challenger 7 Elementary School in Port St. John.
Mr. Cook observed smoke in the area of the school and jumped the school fence to investigate as he called 911.
As he was attempting to investigate what was taking place he encountered two suspects running from the area.
Mr. Rush observed the two suspects jumping a fence as they fled the school and then followed the suspects as he called 911. As the two suspects attempted to flee the scene Mr. Rush was able to catch up to one of the suspects and detain him for responding Deputies.
As all of the above was taking place Mr. Pittman also observed the suspects and took photographs of them on the school grounds as well as when they jumped the fence to exit the area of the fire.
Pursuant to the 911 call being made Deputies from our North Precinct responded to the area along with Brevard County Fire Rescue, who were able to immediately extinguish the fire.
The Deputies then made contact with the witnesses and secured both suspects. The witnesses subsequently identified the two suspects as the ones on the school grounds at the time the fire was set.
FTO Janie Lytle then interviewed both suspects who confessed to setting the fire on the school grounds. Both subjects, age 14 and 15-years-old were arrested for trespassing on school grounds, reckless burning of land, and failure to control/report a dangerous fire.
There is no doubt that without the quick actions of Mr. Cook, Mr. Pittman and Mr. Rush, the fire could of spread to the school or surrounding houses causing significant damage and possible loss of life.
In addition, without the engagement of our citizen partners both suspects could have gotten away with the commission of these very serious crimes.
Please join me in thanking everyone involved in this investigation and especially our incredible citizens who helped us solve this case!! Great Job!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.
Prior to being elected in 2012, Sheriff Ivey served the citizens of the State of Florida as a Resident Agent in Charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Ivey developed and created the country’s first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft. That same year the Task Force was named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and investigated approximately 44 million dollars in fraud cases. Additionally, as a member of FDLE, Sheriff Ivey created the Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T) that re-defined the way Child Abduction cases are conducted throughout the country today. The program was later selected as the most innovative program in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is now used as a nationwide model in the response and investigation of child abductions.
Sheriff Ivey has testified before the United States Congress on law enforcement related matters and has extensive experience in the area of Public Integrity Investigations. Sheriff Ivey was honored as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Special Agent of the Year (1996) and was also recognized by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice. In August of 2011 Sheriff Ivey was honored by the National Organization of Victims Advocacy for his work at the national level as an advocate of victim’s rights and protection.
Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. Sheriff Ivey firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.