Appellate Justices Agree Student Only Wanted to Burn Girl's Hair, Not Century High School Down

A boy lit a girl's hair on fire at Century High School in Santa Ana last year.

That landed him 180 days in juvie for assault and attempted arson.

But the boy also appealed the attempted arson rap, and a two-justice panel of the Fourth District Court of Appeals in his hometown just ruled in his favor, according to an opinion filed July 25.

The unidentified kid, who was already on probation, did not dispute he flicked a lighter and waved the flame underneath the hair of the girl sitting in front of him in class on June 9, 2010. A teacher saw flames coming from the girl's head which–apparently according to his union contract–allowed him to intervene and stop the barbecue.

The boy surrendered the lighter to the teacher, but he also pleaded that school authorities not let his probation officer in on the offense. The kid later told a school security guard he only torched the girl's hair as a joke and for retaliation, because she had burned his follicles earlier.

Point of order: Whatever happened to noogies, wedgies and Hertz doughnuts?

Anyway, the boy maintained that he only wanted to burn her hair, not all of Century High down. Even the state Attorney General indicated the arson count was stretching the criminality too far. While the prank won the boy a longer probation stretch, at least he gets the arson count expunged from his record.

“At the parties' behest,” the justices wrote, “we will reverse the juvenile court's true finding on the attempted arson allegation.”

There's gotta be an easier way to ask a girl to the prom.

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