Police charge teen with arson, assault following Catonsville house fire, school lockdown

Update Jan. 26: Police charged the teen, Daquane Antonio Ray, as an adult, a press release said, saying the charges include arson, malicious burning, first degree assault and theft. He will be held at the Baltimore County Department of Corrections.

Johnnycake Elementary School in Catonsville was placed on lockdown Thursday morning after a 16-year-old boy suspected of threatening someone with a weapon and setting fire to a nearby house entered the school before being arrested, Baltimore County police said.

“Johnnycake ES was placed on lockdown after it was reported that there was an unknown individual in the building,” school system spokesman Mychael Dickerson said in an emailed statement. “Police were called and the individual was apprehended. The lockdown status has been lifted and normal instruction resumed.”

The school system said the lockdown lasted about 15 minutes.

Police received two 911 calls shortly after 10:30 a.m., Louise Rogers-Feher, of Baltimore County Police, said.

The first, she said, reported the boy had set fire to a house in the the 900 block of Bardswell Road, less than a block away from Johnnycake Elementary. The second reported that the boy was chasing someone with some sort of weapon.

County firefighters responded and contained the fire in less than 10 minutes, a police news release said.

The teen then entered Johnnycake Elementary, which has 727 students, and attempted to steal property, Rogers-Fehrer said.

The school called the police and reported that the boy had walked into the building and was wearing a mask, according to the news release, which said he did not have a weapon at that time. School officials approached him and he “left the school without incident.”

Police said officers followed the boy and arrested him near Vanderwood Road, in a neighborhood north of Westview Mall and east of the Baltimore Beltway.

“I have been informed that the issue has been resolved, classes have resumed and all students and staff are accounted for,” state Del. Pat Young, who represents the area, wrote in a post on Facebook shortly after 1 p.m.

“Officers are continuing their investigation and expect to place charges against the juvenile,” the news release said.

This story has been updated. A 4 p.m. version of this story said that the teen had a knife — police now say they are unsure what kind of weapon it was.

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