2 Petaluma students arrested after allegedly setting off illegal fireworks in school bathroom

Bay City News
Thursday, April 4, 2024
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PETALUMA, Calif. -- Two junior high school students in Petaluma were arrested Wednesday after allegedly setting off illegal fireworks in a school bathroom, police said.

Petaluma police issued an alert around noon about the lockdown at the Kenilworth Junior High School on Riesling Road. At approximately 11:37 a.m., police began receiving multiple calls reporting an "explosion" at the junior high, with reports of students running from the school.

Police and fire responded immediately and were told that the explosion was heard near a bathroom next to the quad of the campus.

School staff evacuated students to the blacktop while officers utilized their new, specialized K-9 named Pinky, a Labrador pointer mix that is trained to detect and alert to explosives and firearms.

"After an extensive search, it was determined to be an isolated incident inside a boy's bathroom," said Petaluma Police.

Investigators believe the cause of the explosion was a "quarter-stick" style firecracker, or a "commercial grade explosive device similar to that of an M-1000," police said. Such fireworks are illegal in California.

No students or staff were injured.

Police later identified two students who they say are responsible for lighting the firecracker. Both students were arrested on suspicion of felony possession of an explosive device, felony vandalism, and conspiracy to commit a crime.

"This was an unfortunate incident, and our thoughts go out to the students and school staff," said a spokesperson for the Petaluma Police Department.