Over the last few days the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn has closely watched the investigation of a Jewish school bus fire that was reported on Sunday evening. According to a recent report, the large yellow bus was first reported on fire around 6 p.m.
The vacant bus had been parked at the corner of Brooklyn and East New York Avenues near Beth Rivkah, a local Jewish elementary school. NYPD investigators quickly labeled the fire as arson and within a few days that found and released surveillance tape from the area that captured a group of boys starting the blaze.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Bob Boyce spoke to the press when he explained that the boys seemed to have had prior planning before they joined together to start the fire. In the video, a group of young boys are clearly seen placing cardboard boxes on the bus and running from the scene just seconds before flames erupted.
The fire is also being investigated after a string of other dangerous activities have been reported in the area.
“A day prior to [the rear view mirror being smashed] a 29-year-old male, completely in religious garb, was walking down the street when he was harassed, then punched in the face,” Boyce said.
At this point, only one of the individuals captured on film has been arrested. The 11-year-old admitted to being on the bus, but denied lighting the fire, according to police. He is being charged as a juvenile on counts of criminal mischief as a hate crime and arson as a hate crime.