Molotov cocktail thrown near park in east Modesto

A Molotov cocktail was tossed on a sidewalk in Village One across the street from a park occupied by children and families early Sunday evening, according to the Modesto Fire Department.

Nobody was injured in the 6:30 p.m. incident on Hillglen Drive across from Ustach Park, and there was no damage outside of a three-foot strip of charred sidewalk and some scorched grass. There is a wall between the sidewalk and nearby homes, which are part of a cul-de-sac.

The suspect, according to Modesto Fire Department Captain Vince Basulto, was a young teenager who was identified by children at the park, he said.

He was later arrested and released to his guardian, according to Modesto police officer Darren Ruskamp. The juvenile was cited for arson.

"There was a small fire, but it didn't go anywhere," said Basulto, who added the fire was out before his firefighters arrived. It was apparently put out by three teenagers who were nearby.

A Molotov cocktail is a crude bomb made of a bottle filled with gasoline and fitted with a wick, most of the time, a saturated rag. It can cause an explosion when it lands.

Basulto, who is retiring in two days following a 30-year career in firefighting, said he last saw a Molotov cocktail about four years ago when he worked at Station 10 near Crows Landing Road.

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