Witnesses: Teen made fun as friend burned
MINDEN – A 14-year-old Topaz boy arrested this week for allegedly lighting another boy on fire is also accused of hiding a telephone to prevent 911 calls for help for up to four hours as his friend suffered with second- and third-degree burns on 15 percent of his body.
Witnesses and the victim, Ky Nielsen, told investigators that Joshua Lee Thomas-Bryant was “laughing and making fun” of Ky while he was on fire, then convinced Ky to tell authorities he caught fire from a spark as he siphoned gas on a Topaz ranch Jan. 15.
Thomas-Bryant “is a danger to the community,” Douglas County Deputy District Attorney Kristine Brown told District Judge David Gamble on Friday.
Twice since his arrest Wednesday on suspicion of reckless endangerment causing substantial bodily harm, Thomas-Bryant has been said to have shown no remorse for his alleged actions.
Gamble said hiding the phone to prevent calls for help was an “indication of an attempt to not take responsibility.”
Juvenile Probation officer Eric Anderson said he found a lighter when he searched Thomas-Bryant as he took him to a juvenile detention center Wednesday. Anderson said Thomas-Bryant “said he was going to detention for no reason …. He didn’t mention Ky.”
The blonde-haired boy left the courtroom Friday with his arms crossed and showing no emotion. Despite promises of 24-hour supervision at home by his parents, Thomas-Bryant will be kept in the juvenile detention center until his petition hearing Tuesday.
Andersen also reported threats being made against Thomas-Bryant by adults while he was at school Tuesday.
“There is concern for Josh. It’s a fairly high-profile case,” he said.
Ky remains in fair condition at Northern California Shriners Hospital in Sacramento.
“His vital signs are stable and within normal limits,” said Catherine Curran of Shriners. “He is conscious and his indicators are favorable.”
The Carson Valley Sertoma Club has set up an account to help Ky and his family at US Bank. The account number is 153751299105.
Contact Maggie O’Neill at mo’email@example.com or (775) 782-5121, ext. 214.