YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Boys Say They Set Youth on Fire as Prank


AGOURA — Two teen-agers who set another boy afire as he waited in a high-school cafeteria lunch line said their actions were intended as a prank, authorities said Thursday.

The two youths were behind Benjamin Goldhammer in line on Wednesday at Agoura High School when one boy ignited Goldhammer's shirt with a cigarette lighter, said Lt. Jim Glazar of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Benjamin, 15, suffered second-degree burns to his back and buttocks and was recovering Thursday at his home, Glazar said.

"The whole family is in shock, it's so horrible," said Irene Goldhammer, Benjamin's grandmother. "I am broken up by it. He is a good kid, he is an above-average student and he doesn't hurt anybody."

The two boys accused in the attack are 16 and 17.

Agoura Principal Jim Christianson said that although he was unaware of any previous scuffles between the boys on campus, he had been told that there was a history of animosity between Benjamin and one of his attackers.

Glazar said sheriff's deputies are considering whether to file charges of felony assault against the two boys. They were released to the custody of their parents.

The two have been suspended from school until the Board of Education convenes a hearing to determine whether to expel them, Christianson said.

Los Angeles Times Articles