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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 1999
A man's home may his castle, but something is terribly wrong when irritation at its being violated turns to tragedy. In Buena Park this week, an incident that easily might have passed with a few choice words or even a shrug has left two families devastated. The killing of a 17-year-old by a homeowner aggrieved at the theft of his plastic pumpkin is yet another example of what happens when guns are in the hands of those who are not thinking clearly.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 1999
Re "Teen Slain After Theft of Plastic Pumpkin; Man Held," Oct. 20: My heart goes out to the family of the teenage boy killed while stealing a Halloween pumpkin from a front lawn. My heart also goes out to the family of the man who shot the boy. I won't get into the gun issue, although this incident illustrates why easy access to guns, even in the hands of law-abiding citizens, is dangerous. I would like to ask parents to use this tragedy as an opportunity to remind our children, especially those in the teenage years, that "pranks" can be dangerous.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 15, 2001 | MAI TRAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Buena Park man will be tried a third time on murder charges in the 1999 shooting death of a teenager he said stole a Halloween decoration from his front porch, prosecutors said Friday. Peter Solomona, who remains free on $250,000 bail, left the courtroom teary-eyed after Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard Toohey set an April 29 trial date. "It's a disappointment that we have to go through this again," said Solomona's attorney, Milton Grimes of Newport Beach.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 1999 | JACK LEONARD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Buena Park homeowner who fatally shot a teenager after the theft of a Halloween decoration gave a brief account of the October shooting moments later to a police dispatcher, insisting he never intended to fire his weapon, according to 911 tapes made public Monday. Pete Tavita Solomona, his voice virtually flat, told the dispatcher that he had gone looking for whomever had stolen his plastic pumpkin and that his .357 magnum "just went off." Solomona has been charged with murder after the Oct.
OPINION
August 11, 2002
It's a sad story, this tale of the pumpkin killing, without a single redeeming quality or good guy. A group of teenagers somehow thinks it would be fun to drive around otherwise peaceful suburban streets stealing Halloween decorations from one neighbor after another. And an otherwise peaceable suburbanite somehow thinks drawing a gun is a reasonable response to thoughtless kids and their dumb mischief, grabbing a plastic pumpkin off his lawn. Now two families' lives are in ruins.
SPORTS
October 23, 1999 | PETER YOON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
You can prepare your team on offense and you can prepare your team on defense. But it would have been nearly impossible for El Dorado Coach Rick Jones to get his team ready for the emotion Kennedy showed up with Friday night. Playing with the inspiration of fallen former teammate Brandon Ketsdever, the 17-year old shot and killed after a plastic pumpkin theft Monday night, the Fighting Irish whipped El Dorado, 34-7, in an Empire League game at Valencia High.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 9, 2002 | MAI TRAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When Peter Solomona fatally shot a teenage neighbor who had stolen a Halloween decoration from outside his home three years ago, it made national headlines. To some, it was an example of a neighborhood feud turned deadly by easy access to guns. To others, it was a tragic accident. But deciding what punishment Solomona should receive has proved difficult.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 8, 2001 | MONTE MORIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A jury deadlocked Friday in the murder trial of a Buena Park homeowner who shot and killed a 17-year-old neighbor as he tried to steal a plastic Halloween pumpkin from the man's front lawn. After four days of sometimes tearful deliberations, frustrated jurors announced that they could not agree on a verdict in the case against Pete T. Solomona, 50, who has now been tried twice without a resolution. Jurors said they split 9 to 3, with the majority favoring a guilty verdict.
NEWS
October 22, 1999 | MIKE DOWNEY
I once put a plastic pumpkin on my front porch, a few days before Halloween. It didn't cost much. Five or six bucks, no more. It had a wacky jack-o'-lantern face that looked a little like the Alfred E. Neuman character from Mad magazine, and it glowed in the dark. It was gone when I got home. Stolen. I looked in the yard, just in case it had somehow blown off the porch. But I knew it hadn't. Somebody swiped it. "Kids," I muttered to myself. I blame kids for everything.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 2001 | MONTE MORIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A family's bitterness over the slaying of their teenage son erupted outside an Orange County courtroom Friday when a judge agreed to a lengthy delay in the second trial of Peter Solomona, the Buena Park man who killed the boy over a stolen pumpkin. "Pete, you're going back to jail," hissed the dead boy's father, Jon Ketsdever, as Solomona left the courtroom free on bail Friday. Solomona shrugged off Ketsdever and kept walking.
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