Everett teen arrested following investigation of flower shop arson

  • By Rikki King and Diana Hefley Herald Writers
  • Tuesday, August 30, 2011 12:54pm
  • Local NewsEverett

EVERETT — A 15-year-old Everett boy was arrested Monday in connection with an arson at the Everett Floral Shop.

The Aug. 6 fire heavily damaged th

e family-owned flower shop in the 4500 block of Evergreen Way. Ernie and Cindy Frederickson have owned the shop for 23 years.

Investigators believe the boy worked alone to burglarize and vandalize the store before setting it on fire, Everett police Sgt. Ryan Dalberg said.

Detectives Mike Atwood and Jim Massingale were able to develop a lead from nearby surveillance video. The trail eventually led them to the teenage suspect, Dalberg said.

“Basically, it was good police work,” he said.

The boy was booked into the Denney Juvenile Justice Center. A Snohomish County Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered him held on $1,000 cash-only bail. The judge found probable cause for arson, burglary and malicious mischief.

Prosecutors noted in court that the crime appears to be random. No clear reason has emerged to explain why the flower shop was targeted.

Police estimate the fire caused $200,000 in damage.

The boy has been in trouble with police in the past. He’s twice been charged with trespassing at the Everett Transit Center. He also was charged in 2010 with possessing a marijuana pipe after police found him asleep next to the downtown Everett Y. His probation ended in May on that conviction.

The teen also is known to police as an affiliate of the Juggalos, which police consider a criminal street gang. There are about 200 members and affiliates in Snohomish County. Members are known for wearing clown make-up in tribute to the Insane Clown Posse, a metal-rap music group, whose fans also call themselves Juggalos and Juggalettes.

Authorities say there’s no indication that the arson was related to any gang activity.

The Frederickson family was relieved to hear about an arrest, Cindy Frederickson said Tuesday. They’re also sad to hear that the culprit was a juvenile.

“We know he has a family, and I’m sure it’s just going to be a very difficult time for everyone,” she said.

Her family plans to rebuild the shop. They’re waiting to meet with the city officials to make sure everything is in order. Meanwhile, they’re returning every call from customers, Cindy Frederickson said.

“It all takes time, and every day is another day that we’re not in business,” she said.

The shop cat, Elvis, has since been adopted by a family friend, Frederickson said. He was traumatized by the fire. Smoke and debris made the cat no longer feel safe at his old home.

Last week, the family went through the shop’s inventory to see if anything was salvageable. It was an emotional day, Frederickson said. There was some undamaged glassware, such as vases.

“Anything else, like balloons or ribbons, just ends up with a smoky kind of film on it, and it just can’t be saved,” she said. “It’s very difficult to throw that all away.”

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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