NewsRegion South PinellasPinellas Park


Teen admits to setting park pavilion on fire using lighter, toilet paper

Rio Evey, of Pinellas Park, arrested for arson
Posted at 10:45 PM, Jan 08, 2018

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — Just weeks before players take the field, an arson investigation is underway at Youth Park in Pinellas Park. 

Fire fighters responded Saturday afternoon to active flames inside the women's restroom, located next to two softball fields. 

Pictures taken inside the pavilion show extensive fire damage, investigators estimate will cost about $19,000 to repair. 

Pinellas Park police arrested 18-year-old Rio Evey, of Pinellas Park, after she admitted to setting the fire using a lighter to ignite toilet paper and a McDonald's French fry carton. 

“It is a hurdle that the league definitely did not need," said Jonathan Johnston, a pastor who works at the park's teen center. "It is unfortunate that it effects kids here because the kids that play here predominately live in this neighborhood.”

Evey tells ABC Action News, she is sorry for what happened and says she suffered a medical episode, causing her to black out before setting the fire.