Mother of teen blamed for fire is arrested in defacing facades

November 19, 1999|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The mother of a teen-ager who authorities said is responsible for the six-alarm Ellicott City fire last week was charged with one count of malicious destruction of property, Howard County police reported yesterday.

Patricia Anne Riesner, 38, of the 2000 block of E. Hoffman St. in Baltimore was arrested Tuesday afternoon as she scrawled messages on plywood boards attached to the facades of the burned-out buildings on Main Street, police said.

She told police she wrote the messages -- which appeared to imply that someone else started the fire -- to defend her son, Matthew Riesner, 17, of Pasadena.

State fire investigators found that young Riesner's careless smoking behind Main Street Blues started the fire that destroyed five businesses. However, they also determined that the blaze was accidental and no criminal charges were filed against him.

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