Arson and vandalism were found at Daniel Lewis Middle School in Paso Robles on June 3

STAFF REPORT

PASO ROBLES — Paso Robles Police Department Officers have arrested two juveniles from Paso Robles in connection to arson and vandalism discovered at Daniel Lewis Middle School Friday morning.

On June 3, at approximately 6:30 a.m., employees at Daniel Lewis Middle School located a fire burning outside one of the classrooms.

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According to Paso Robles Joint Unified School District (PRJUSD) Superintendent Curt Dubost’s earlier statement, sometime last evening, a person or persons entered the campus of Lewis Middle School and vandalized the campus by attempting to start several fires and painting graffiti in several places. The classrooms were unusable on Friday but are expected to be back in service by Monday.

The employees quickly extinguished the fire and contacted Paso Robles Fire and Police Departments to investigate. It was discovered a large plastic waste container full of paper was purposely set on fire. The intensity of the fire almost caught the building on fire and caused damage to the building and door to the classroom. As officers were investigating the cause of the fire, they discovered several banners around the school that had also been burned, and other areas that were vandalized with spray paint.

Ultimately, it was social media that led to the juveniles arrests. 

Investigating officers found social media posts which contained videos of the two juvenile suspects actively setting fires at the school. The footage showed the juveniles using an aerosol can and a lighter to light a paper banner on fire. The School Resource Officer and school staff quickly identified both of the involved juveniles. 

The juveniles, both 14 years of age from Paso Robles, have been arrested for one count of felony arson, one felony count of vandalism, and several counts of misdemeanor vandalism. They were both transported to Juvenile Services Center in San Luis Obispo. As the suspects are juveniles, their names and photographs will not be released.

This is an ongoing investigation, and the Paso Robles Police Department is requesting anyone with any information to call the PRPD at (805) 237-6464.