Teens charged in Boy Scout building arson

May 10, 2011

Caleb Joseph Pelletier

Police arrested two teens Monday for burning down the Arroyo Grande Boys Scouts of America building.

Caleb Joseph Pelletier, 18, of Creston and an unnamed 16-year-old Arroyo Grande High School student were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy, arson, burglary and possession of stolen property.

Arroyo Grande Police Chief Steve Annibali said a tip to Crime Stoppers led police to the teens.

The members of Boy Scout Troop 413 will be utilizing tents on the property for their upcoming meetings. The property owner has not said yet if he plans to rebuild the hall on his land.

“We are not sure where we will rebuild,” said Scoutmaster Chris Hagerty of Boy Scout Troop 413. “We would prefer to rebuild here.”

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Those of you calling for his head are delusional. The liberal court system will assign a “social worker” who will find his feminine side, and inner goodness and he’ll be out in months. They’ll claim he was “abused” by the Boy Scouts. Notice the ever widening definition of “abuse”. Welcome to P.C. America, theater of the absurd.

Realistically, I think the penalty will have more to do with whether or not he has any priors than with any “P.C.”-ness.

No ‘breaks’. Hard prison time is the consequence of arson. They were old enough to do the crime, they’re old enough to do the time.

I think the best remedy for these guys is to be the first to pickup a shovel and work their Bootaakens off helping re-build this place from the ground up. Make em sweat and blister their hands. Chances are they could learn and build some character by hard work and I mean hard work. Put them to work side by side with other boy scouts and scout leaders. A positive thought and hopefully a positive outcome for all. “Work their butts off” My husband says ” If your gonna be stupid, you gotta be tough”.

Make them work as part of the incarceration and parole agreements and then have them donate their paychecks until restitution is complete.

Didn’t they have insurance?

I’m hearing that they didn’t have insurance because the building had been built back in the early 1930’s and it would have been very expensive to insure it. That doesn’t make much sense to me, if it had a sound roof and no termites, I should think insurance is insurance.

It makes perfect sense, as older building are more susceptible to fire, earthquakes, and water damage. Older materials and older building codes = higher risk and higher premiums.

Unfortunately, I believe this will be beyond fund raising (especially in this economy) and the land will likely go on the market or just sit, empty lot style.

Yes, I see your point although I would think that these new homes would fall down as fast in an earthquake as the older ones (providing that they aren’t unreinforced masonry) . In the 2003 quake, my house literally shook my refrigerator across the kitchen floor and threw the RO out from under the sink. I had a lot of damage to my contents and this house is only 20 years old. My neighbors home was built in the late 40’s and they had no damage or loss of contents, go figure?

Perhaps a fund raising effort will replace all their supplies that were lost and someone will offer them a discounted or charitable rental space for a meeting hall.

Make them work as part of the incarceration and parole agreements and then have them donate their paychecks until restitution is complete.

BSA should be willing to help secure financing for a new building. Make it a regional boy scout center so that other central coast troops can use the building for functions.

Community help + Restitution + Rent = New Center


Sadly, the costs and effort to rebuild there will be MUCH more difficult from when the building was first in. In fact, the agency fees alone will be more than what was originally used to build the building, thus it will take massive funds that the organization simply does not have.

Hopefully someone with a facility will “take them in” so-to-speak. These kids really screwed the pooch on this one; it is quite sad that they decided to make so many wrong decisions to get here.

It’s kind of sad that modern building codes are so restrictive that more simple buildings cannot be built, at least for special purposes.

When I was a scout we met at a local school in the cafeteria and sometimes a classroom when the cafeteria was being used. Maybe local schools could charge a nominal “facilities fee” and let the scouts meet there. All of the scouts parents are taxpayers. Many local residents are former scouts and wouldn’t mind their tax dollars working to help them out.

Then there is the stance on gay scouts…

There’s no stance on gay scouts, just OPENLY gay scout leaders. If my kid were a scout, I honestly don’t care if a leader’s a homo, hetero or whatever…if he’s an honest man, acts appropriately, promotes the scouts’ rules/codes and keeps his hands off my kid–unlike all those Catholic priest perverts–it’s fine with me.

I would actually prefer that the leader was gay.

By far, pedophiles are far more likely to be heterosexual than homosexual, and the victims are far more likely to be girls.

“I would actually prefer that the leader was gay.”

“By far, pedophiles are far more likely to be heterosexual”

Mary, of course heterosexual males are more likely to offend. Gays and lesbians combined only make up 1.7% of the population. The entire LGBT population combined is only 3.5%.

The BSA is doing fine but I wouldn’t be looking to sign my kid up with a gay scout master “just because” I thought my kid would be any safer.

I didn’t say I would look “to sign my kid up with a gay scout master.” I said there was a preference, implying there would be a choice.

What is the source for your statistics? Because it depends a lot on the definition of lesbians, gays, bisexual and trangender, and it depends on the studies performed and how the questions are worded. It especially seems to depend on how recent the studies are, and whether or not they are anonymous responses.

I found a report of a Gallup poll from 2002 (http://www.gallup.com/poll/6961/What-Percentage-Population-Gay.aspx) which indicated the following:

“In August 2002*, Gallup asked Americans, in an open-ended format, to estimate the percentage of American men and the percentage of American women who are homosexual. The average estimates were that 21% of men are gay and 22% of women are lesbians. In fact, roughly a quarter of the public thinks more than 25% of men and 25% of women are homosexual. It should be pointed out, too, that many Americans (at least one in six) could not give an estimate.

“Male respondents tend to give lower estimates of both the male and female homosexual population than female respondents do. The average estimates among male respondents are that 16% of men and 21% of women are homosexual. Among female respondents, the average estimates are that 26% of men and 23% of women are homosexual. Somewhat interestingly, both sexes believe there are more homosexuals in the opposite sex than in their own sex.”

And that was just for the “homosexual” category.

You are citing a poll that asks random people to estimate? Yikes.