Girl, 14, charged with arson for fires at Early football stadium


A 14-year-old girl was arrested Wednesday and charged with arson for allegedly setting fires at Longhorn Stadium in Early.

The fires, according to Early police, caused damage in two locations on June 5.

"Both fires were small and burned themselves out," an Early Police Department social media message said Thursday. "The case has been turned over to the juvenile probation office."

Two juveniles – a 15-year-old boy and the 14-year-old girl – had been accused of setting the two fires and causing $25,000 in damage to the center of the Early ISD football stadium.

"There's not enough proof for him (the 15-year-old) right now. It ended up being mostly her anyway." Early Police Chief David Mercer said Thursday.

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Two juveniles – a 15-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl – are accused of setting two fires and causing $25,000 in damage to the turf in the center of the Early ISD football stadium.

"I think we had some folks come in and decide to vandalize the field a little bit," Early ISD Athletic Director Blake Sanford said Tuesday.

According to Early police, a "group of juveniles" entered the football stadium about 9:30 p.m. Sunday, using cardboard and trash to start the small fire on the 50-yardline on the "yellow Longhorn design."

"The charges that we will be looking for is arson," Early Police Chief David Mercer said. "That's of a felony of the second degree."

Mercer said the students posted a video of their crime on the social media app Snapchat, which was how they were able to locate them.

"All evidence has been corroborated as well as video evidence obtained," Mercer said, noting the case will be presented to juvenile probation and the county attorney Wednesday to "file charges and pick up the juveniles."

Early police say the two juveniles, who will be freshmen at Early High School, also started a second fire on top of a table under the home-side bleachers.

"The only damage was the burn marks to the aluminum table," Mercer said, noting each fire "went undetected and burned themselves out."

Cardboard was used in both blazes, according to police.