Boston Police report charging teens from West Roxbury and Roslindale with burning down the long vacant McDonald's on the southbound VFW Parkway last night.
Police say they followed footprints in the snow from the flaming old hamburger stand to the nearby Charles River - from where they could observe fresh footprints on the Dedham side of the river (the same investigative technique they used to catch a robber at the open McDonald's two years ago):
Assisted by State and Dedham Police, troopers observed three suspects fleeing the scene and getting out of the Charles River behind the building. Suspect #1 was located by Dedham Police Officers behind the Irish Ale House, wearing wet clothing. Suspect #1 was transported to Faulkner Hospital for further evaluation and released. Suspect #2 was located near the scene also wearing wet clothing. Suspect #2 was transported to Brigham and Women’s Hospital for further evaluation. Suspect #3 arrived on scene shortly thereafter wearing wet clothing and barefoot. Suspect #3 stated, all three had been inside the old McDonalds and accidentally started the fire. Suspect #3 was transported to Faulkner Hospital for further evaluation and released.
Police allege the three told them they were inside the ex-restaurant and set the fire accidentally. The Boston Fire Department estimates damage of $100,000 to the building, which has been closed for several years.
Charged with arson and breaking and entering: James McManus, 19, and Mark Collins, 18, both of West Roxbury and Denis Florez, 18, of Roslindale.