Officials take it very seriously when students pull fire alarms falsely, as they did last week when Tarrytown police slapped an 11-year-old Chinese girl at the EF School with a felony charge.
The Tarrytown Fire Department responded to a call from from an alarm company for an activated fire alarm at the EF School at 7:34 a.m. on August 7.
That call was quickly followed by a call from EF school security that it appeared to be a false alarm. The Fire Department requested police to come as they thought it may have been malicious in intent.
A witness told police the 11-year-old girl from China had pulled the alarm after he told her not to touch it. The girl was found in Rita Hall and taken into custody; another witness, who wished to remain anonymous, told Patch she was marched through two buildings in handcuffs.
From headquarters she was taken to family court and turned over to the corrections department who would either get her transported to a youth detention facility or assist in her release to a responsible party based on a judge's determination.
According to Lt. William Herguth, the judge did decide indeed to let her go, dismissing the charges against her. She was able to fly home to China in a few days as planned, a concern for her at the time of arrest.
Herguth said the felony charge was by the books -- if someone falsely reports an incident such as a fire that affects a number of people, it "brings it right into that category," namely an E-felony. He said the department's doled out this charge before for similar incidents at the school but certainly not to someone so young.
"Wasn't there any other way they could of handled this?" the anonymous witness asked Patch.