Mountain View Voice

News - April 18, 2014

Four more arrested in connection with arson fire

Case now in the hands of district attorney's office

by Kevin Forestieri

The Mountain View Police Department arrested four more juveniles in its ongoing investigation of the drug- and alcohol-fueled parties and subsequent arson fire that destroyed a house on Fordham Way last month.

While the residents of the house were away on vacation, students from nearby high schools and a local college hosted parties with drugs and alcohol for over a week. On March 16, three juveniles allegedly started a fire in the house; the two-alarm fire severely damaged the house.

Since the initial arrests of 12 juveniles and two adults, four more juveniles were arrested as of March 31 — a total of 18 arrests on charges including arson, burglary, vehicle theft, drug possession and child endangerment.

The two adults, Brandon Pak and Gilbert Gomes, were arrested by Mountain View police late last month on charges of burglary and child endangerment. Pak also faces charges of providing marijuana to juveniles.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office hadn't yet filed charges against Pak and Gomes as of April 15, and the case is still under review, according to Deputy DA Brian Welch.

The DA's office dropped the original charges made against Pak and Gomes; Deputy DA Sumerle Davis said the information she was given at the time was not enough to charge either Pak or Gomes with child endangerment or burglary.

The Mountain View Fire Department did not have a cost estimate on the damage done to the house, according to Jaime Garrett, Mountain View fire spokeswoman. Garrett said the family is not able to live in the house, and that the house needs to be rebuilt.

The police department conducted a joint investigation with the Santa Clara County Fire Investigation Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that led to the 18 arrests. The investigation now in the hands of the DA's office, according to Sgt. Saul Jaeger of the police department.

Police are still looking for more information about the parties leading up to the fire, and encourage people with a tip to call 650-903-6344. Anonymous tips can also be sent via text to 274637; include "mvtips" in the body of the message.

Comments

Posted by Jes' Sayin', a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 17, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Definition of arson: the criminal act of deliberately setting fire to property.

So why does the headline read "Four more arrested in connection with arson fire"? Is there some other kind of arson?


Posted by Geek, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 18, 2014 at 11:15 am

@ Jes
There are other kinds of fire.


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