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Nyack 16-Year-Old Charged in Arson Spree

He's accused in car fires and in separate burglaries, fire.

A 16-year-old Nyack boy was arrested Wednesday on arson charges stemming from set in Nyack early Tuesday and a separate fire over the weekend, Orangetown police said this morning.

Police said they have charged Jonathan Barillas, 16, of Nyack, with:

Third-degree burglary, a class “D” felony - 2 counts

Second-degree arson, a class “B” felony -1 count

Third-degree arson, a class “C” felony -5 counts

Fourth-degree grand larceny, a class “E” felony - 2 counts

In addition to the fires that took place about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday on Summit Street and Washington Street, police said Barillas is accused of burglarizing a building on Catherine Street twice, on Aug. 10 and 13, and returning on Aug. 19 to set the same building on fire.

No one was injured in the fires, although a home a 35 Summit St. was damaged by the fire and offices at 13 Catherine St. were heavily damaged by the Sunday morning fire.

Residents of 35 Summit St. were home at the time of that fire and evacuated the home safely. On Catherine Street, the building housing the offices also contains two apartments — one that was occupied at the time of the fire. Orangetown police woke the sleeping apartment resident to get him out of the burning building.

Barillas was arraigned by Orangetown Town Judge Richard C. Finning and ordered held in the Rockland County Correctional Facility in New City on $50,000 bail pending a hearing in Nyack Village Court.

In addition to the fires that were set, Orangetown police said Barillas was charged in connection with a rash of larcenies from unlocked cars that also took place in the Summit Street neighborhood just south of Nyack's Main Street. Detectives are trying to connect recovered items to the cars that they were taken from.

As of this morning, Barillas is not charged in connection with the many other car larcenies that have taken place in the Nyack, South Nyack and Upper Grand View areas.

Also, Jonathan Barillas is charged with twice breaking into at the offices of a small company based there. And, he is accused of setting a fire at the building. The morning of the fire, Nyack firefighters initially thought the fire was accidental and possibly caused by an electrical problem.

Police say it now appears the fire was set by Barillas.

Police ask that anyone who might have information regarding these incidents call Orangetown Police Detectives at 845-359-2121. Their investigation is continuing.

Orangetown Police were assisted by the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department Bureau of Criminal Identification arson unit.

what is a simple viewpoint...This kid forget his age...set fire to a car that was close to a house? correct? why even bother to make less of that action..he did things that where wrong....at a time when anyone with a IQ over 10 knows people MAY be sleeping..thank god it didnt play out in a more damaging event..like people getting hurt or killed..he did his actions more than once..THE GOOD NEWS TO HIS FAMILY..the kid will get three meals a day!!!!!!for free and room and board!!!
Watchdog August 23, 2012 at 03:32 PM
There seems to be more concern for the criminal here, I did not read any concern for all the victims of this criminal. He repeatedly damaged a lot of cars ad almost burned Down a home, luckily not killing anyone and you are concerned about releasing his name? How did you get like this? Where did this kind of thinking start? It is beyond my comprehension.
WP August 23, 2012 at 03:33 PM
He should have to make all the phone calls to the insurance company and do all the paperwork and help them all look for new cars as part of his punishment. Those people (one of which is a friend of mine) were just minding their own business safely in their homes and this kid with obviously nothing better to do caused unecessary BS for them!
Chris August 23, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Is this really his last name? He looks like a guy I know named Jonathan with a different last name. The mother is in jail and the father wants nothing to do with him.
Dave H August 23, 2012 at 03:50 PM
If you pay attention to what i said, the ONLY thing i think is not right, is that a 16 year old would be facing 40 years in jail for arson.. I am not saying that what he did wasn't absolutely terrible and that he shouldn't face any punishment, but 40 years for a 16 year old that didnt commit murder, is NOT RIGHT
Dave H August 23, 2012 at 03:54 PM
But it says what he is charged with. And if you look up the New York Sentencing guidelines for these alleged crimes this boy is charged with, and add up the maximum sentence for each count, it will total to around 30 to 40 years. 10 felony counts, it makes sense, maybe the judge will drop 5 counts and find him guilty of 5, but still, 15-20 years for a minor making a very stupid decision is not right.
Daniel Shearer August 23, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Let's all remember that this kid hasn't been convicted yet. But certainly, burning up cars and houses should rightly be considered felonious.
Dave H August 23, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Im concerned about our constitution, and the rights of citizens in this country. His name being made public, i could care less about, i was only curious as to why a minor's name was made public because i want to know if there are any laws regarding this (such as the severity of the crime outweighing the prejudicial outcome of releasing a minor's name) that i am not aware about.
T August 23, 2012 at 04:02 PM
My heart goes out to the families involved AND to this boy. Clearly he needs help. As a teacher I am positive that this didnt happen out of boredom or nothing better to do. This is a cry for help.
Dave H August 23, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Let it be clear, that i am happy he was arrested assuming he was the perpetrator. And i hope justice is served, but i also hope this young man has another chance to make something of his life. I believe in redemption
Pat August 23, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Watchdog: I don't see this kid making it to Nanuet (what, on the 59 bus???), but I hope they apprehend those culprits. I think we'd be having a different discussion if this kid 1) had not also (allegedly) robbed that business on Catherine Street, and 2) set fires away from people. We were just lucky only one house caught fire, and the residents got out... We were lucky the firemen arrived sooo quickly, even if they felt like it could have been sooner!
tom kelty August 23, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Hey dave what if his next stupid decision killed a person sleeping? Then what? Make him stay after school? I believe you hold someone regardless of age accountable and maybe parents will go back to looking into what their kids are doing too.
Bob August 23, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Dave H - If you feel so bad about the 40 years - why don't you ask if you can do some of the time for him! Good job OPD!
John dilenger August 23, 2012 at 06:34 PM
3-5 years the limit give this kid a chance to change his life and learn from his lesson nobody was hurt
John dilenger August 23, 2012 at 06:38 PM
I know this kid he's friendly and I'm pretty sure he had a group of kids with him trying to impress them and show off
emetib August 23, 2012 at 07:43 PM
He should face that much. He could have killed the occupants of the house that was damaged by fire.
Dave H August 23, 2012 at 08:32 PM
You are under the presumption that i think he shouldn't get in any trouble.. 5 to 10 years in prison i would say is more appropriate then 40 years
Genesis Torres August 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM
I think that's it's novodies bussiness. I know him and he's a great kid. I don't know why he did this but he's not a bad kid. He did something which is called a mistake. But NOBODY haS the right to judge him because nobody is perfect he's young leave him alone.
TLA August 24, 2012 at 01:21 AM
It seems that more and more our youth are choosing to make mistakes that are criminal! Why is it that kids are hanging out at 2;30 in the morning? Where are the parents? Seems that parents are now afraid of their kids, because our system allow's them to be! No limit to whats right or wrong!
Rob August 24, 2012 at 02:08 AM
If I read this about 30 years ago, I would be like..."Give this guy the death penalty"...Fast forward today and I feel so much sadness . Someone failed this kid. Society perhaps but ever more so, the people closest to him---Perhaps his own family. He became a product of his own environment. In about 5 years or less, this kid could become a different person then he is today. He is so young. Give him a second chance at life.
INTHEKNOW August 24, 2012 at 07:04 AM
Dave H... this is not an example of a flawed justic system.. this kid will not do 40 years in prison. (heck, most murderers are sentenced to 20 to life)... The article just adds up the possible sentence if convicted on each count and sentenced concurently on each charge to its maximum amount. The law is flexible.. and the charges will be consolidated, and pled out..The judge will get a sentence recommendation, which will likley include some jail time, and restitution. Arson is a biggie.. and i expect he will get a 5 year sentence, and serve 2.
colleen August 24, 2012 at 01:09 PM
A mistake is shoplifting a candy bar. This kid burglarized a local business, set a home and a local business on fire, PLUS set multiple cars on fire. That's not a mistake, that's a pattern.
K.Cobain August 24, 2012 at 01:22 PM
It is our business since this person put many people’s lives at risk. I grew up and still have family just a few blocks from here and to hear you dismiss this as a mistake is outrageous. Lighting several cars on fire, causing damage to homes, along with breaking and entering are not mistakes.. those are crimes and serious ones. I don’t know what type of people let 16 yr olds out at 2:30 in the morning but the parents certainly need some lessons in parenting skills 101. I won’t waste my time lecturing you because I can tell from your remarks you simply won’t absorb it. I’ll finish by saying I’m glad to see he will be sentenced as an adult. Hopefully in prison he can get the help he needs and not be a danger to anyone any longer.
Charles August 24, 2012 at 02:46 PM
He absolutely would not do this alone. The problem kids in town are well known, and getting older every day. Connect the dots, identify the potential problems... provide options and severe consequences...
Reason August 24, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I can take the kid in and set him straight real quick. Teach him the words consequence, apology, embarrassment, shame, love, and forgiveness.
Chris August 24, 2012 at 06:23 PM
The victims of the arson that had a house fire in addition to the car just had to see a person sentenced to 8 years in prison for the murder of their loved one Wykeme Corker. So you have a senseless killing that gets hardly any time in prison and then you are victimized again at random by a child with no respect? Disgusting.
mcccmar August 24, 2012 at 08:23 PM
A mistake is when you do something UNINTENTIONALLY - this wasnt a mistake it was ARSON - and WHERE were this kids parents while he was out at this hour ??
Bob August 27, 2012 at 08:44 AM
how do people know it's him when there are more then one person and why is get blamed for something maybe he was walking around there but they have no prove that he did it and he should be gving a different amount of bail $50k is a little way to much for a 16yrs old & for him to have 10 counts a little to much
Watchdog August 28, 2012 at 02:37 PM
This just gets worse ? How I'd we ever get to the point where people can commit cries like this and have it explained away and at the same time try to convince people that an arsonist and a thief show be given leniency to help his "girlfriend". All at 16 years of age. This is really sick thinking.
Norman August 28, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Well Watchdog, when you have people like Ana r. and Bob raising children and contributing to society, is it any wonder why modern day society is a shambles? For crying out loud, if Bob can't write a simple comment above with some manner of correct grammar and spelling, how the heck will his kids grow up to do anything but collect free paychecks from the government? And Ana R, I mean let's get real. Is there really that big a difference between being 15 and 16??? This is almost hilarious! Mental problems or not, he didn't make a mistake, he didn't trip on a lighter and fall against 4 cars. He purposely did this (if convicted of course) and if convicted we deserve to have him out of our neighborhoods and off the streets.

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