Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Port Richey teen, 15, charged after experiment destroys apartments, causes $100,000 in damage

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 15-year-old has been arrested after detectives say he fashioned a makeshift flamethrower that destroyed two apartments and caused $100,000 in damage Monday.

With four friends watching, Michael Riddle took a can of deodorant and lit the spray with a cigarette lighter inside his mother's home at the High Points Apartments about 3:25 p.m., New Port Richey police said.

"What he conveys is that he was curious to just see if it worked," said Capt. Jeffrey Harrington. "In the process he burned his house down."

First, his shirt ignited. Then the bedroom. By the time the blaze was extinguished, it had spread to six units. No one was injured.

As the apartments burned on Monday, Michael Riddle told a Times reporter that he returned from a trip to the library to find his mother's bedroom smoking and the bed on fire.

The boy has been charged with culpable negligence, a misdemeanor charge for "inherently dangerous conduct that puts others at risk," Harrington said.

New Port Richey teen, 15, charged after experiment destroys apartments, causes $100,000 in damage 04/21/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 9:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Dog dies in hot car while owner cleans Florida condos

    Public Safety

    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Authorities say a 2-year-old Chihuahua died in a hot car while its owner was cleaning condominiums in Florida.

  2. Recipe for Nutty Quinoa Carbonara

    Cooking

    If you've never made carbonara, consider adding it to your weekday dinner lineup. It is a traditional Italian pasta dish in which eggs are mixed with cheese and then swirled into cooked pasta just before serving. The result is a luscious bowl of food you won't believe contains so few ingredients. This recipe swaps …

    Quinoa Carbonara. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.
  3. Jared Kushner says he has 'nothing to hide' on Russia (w/video)

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner is denying that President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russia, saying in a statement ahead of congressional interviews that he has "nothing to hide."

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner listens during the "American Leadership in Emerging Technology" event with President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington on June 22, 2017. [Associated Press]
  4. Forecast: Less stormy weather to start week in Tampa Bay before chances ramp back up

    Weather

    After some stormy mornings throughout the weekend across Tampa Bay, Monday kicks off pretty quietly with a cloudy, yet mainly dry start.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  5. Florida education news: #HB7069, 'Robin Hood' funding, the search for teachers and more

    Blogs

    WHAT NEXT? Every year, new state laws hit the books that have to be implemented once they take effect. But House Bill …

    Over 600 new Hillsborough County teachers listen to superintendent Jeff Eakins during an orientation in July 2016.