In what has to be the stupidest act of self-incrimination, a Cary teen wrote his name “Tristan” in tar on the face of a culvert after setting a fire that caused nearly a half million dollars of damage.
The Wake County District Attorney’s office has decided not to prosecute. It turns out that in order for the Town of Cary or the state to collect anything from the family, it will have to pursue their homeowners insurance policy. Because most insurance policies do not pay for intentional criminal acts, if convicted on court of an intentional act, the insurance company would likely claim that that legal finding precludes it from having to pay if the teen were found liable after a civil suit.
On the one hand, it is a lucky break for the teen. On the other hand, it’s odd that so many people are held criminally liable for much less serious acts of injury to real or personal property when someone who caused a half million dollars worth of damage faces no criminal conviction.