A student was charged with a felony for allegedly starting a classmate’s hair on fire Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2011 at .
The Racine County District Attorney’s Office charged Shyhein D Davidson, 17, of Racine, today with second degree reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.
According to a criminal complaint, a police officer with the Mt. Pleasant Police Department was walking down the hall at about 11 a.m. when she smelled something burning and overheard some of the students talking about a girl whose hair was set on fire. The students didn’t know her name or who did it. The girl never reported the incident. The officer watched video surveillance of the location to try to determine the victim’s identity, but she was unable to determine the victim’s identity.
When the officer went to the lunchroom, a teacher told the officer that Davidson was almost in a fight with another boy “because Davidson had lit the other boy's sister's hair on fire.” When police confronted Davidson, he denied the allegation. Because the police didn’t have a victim, the police officer couldn’t do anything else and he was turned over to school staff until they look into the incident further.
School officials learned the girl’s name on Wednesday. During an interview, she told the police she was walking down the hallway when someone said, “Light her hair on fire.” The girl said she didn’t know what the others were talking about, and didn’t know her hair was on fire until people start screaming. When someone put her hair out, the girl had a “quarter-sized bald spot on her neck/hairline on the left side.”
Earlier during lunch, Davidson had been playing with a lighter trying to set another girl’s shirt and pants on fire. The girl told him to stop and he did.
After police told Davidson what the other witnesses had said, he admitted to starting the girl’s hair on fire and that he was “just playing with his lighter and it accidentally happened and that it wasn’t intentional.”
When the officer asked about the second girl, he said he “didn’t even like that girl and he wasn’t trying to light her clothes on fire.”
Davidson is expected to be in court for a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. Dec. 15, 2011.