Man arrested for playground arson in FDR park

Kevin Beattie was charged in the fire.
Kevin Beattie was charged in the fire.
Posted: June 27, 2012

Detectives arrested a 26-year-old man accused of setting fire to and destroying a new, $300,000 South Philadelphia playground, police said Monday.

Kevin Beattie of the 2400 block of South Camac Street was arrested Friday after being questioned twice by South Detectives about the arson that ruined the playground in FDR Park, 1500 Pattison Ave.

"I would summarize the motive as sheer stupidity and not realizing how important playgrounds are to the community," said Capt. Laurence Nodiff, commander of South Detectives.

Beattie was one of two men who called 911 at 9:20 p.m. June 17 to report the fire and told police they saw two other men running from the scene, Nodiff said.

Beattie was called in for questioning a second time Friday and was arrested. The other man, who authorities say was with Beattie at the time of the fire, was not charged. Nodiff declined to say if the other man was cooperating with police.

Nodiff said Beattie, who is charged with arson and related offenses, set the fire by burning paper debris with a match or cigarette lighter.

Mayor Nutter called it "an act of evil."

City officials said the playground had been completed in October at a cost of $306,000. The Eagles, whose stadium is nearby, have pledged to help rebuild the playground.


Contact Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or bmoran@phillynews.com, or follow @RobertMoran215 on Twitter.

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