16-Year-Old Charged as Adult in Mountain View Party Arson Case

By Lisa Fernandez and Geoffrey Eisler
|  Friday, May 2, 2014  |  Updated 3:47 PM PDT
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Cause of 2-Alarm Mountain View Fire Under Investigation

Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Duffy Magilligan told NBC Bay Area that Brett Dispoto is accused of setting fire to a home in the 1700 block of Fordham Way on March 16, when the homeowner was away on vacation.

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Cause of 2-Alarm Mountain View Fire Under Investigation

A Mountain View home was damaged by a two-alarm fire early this morning, according to the fire department.
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A 16-year-old boy was charged in adult court with felony arson on Friday, stemming from a wild party in Mountain View this spring.

Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Duffy Magilligan told NBC Bay Area that Brett Dispoto is accused of setting fire to a home in the 1700 block of Fordham Way on March 16, when the homeowner was away on vacation.

According to Magilligan, Dispoto started a fire in the bedroom of the home and fled as it grew out of control.

The teen was arraigned as an adult in open court on Friday afternoon.

“We charged Mr. Dispoto in adult court because this is an adult crime,” Magilligan said in an email. “He not only destroyed the victim’s home, the entire neighborhood could have burned because he chose to run instead of calling 911. The Mountain View Fire Department saved the neighborhood.”

Judge Daniel Nisigaya set Dispoto’s bail at $100,000. If convicted, Dispoto could face up to eight years in custody.

A telephone call seeking comment from Dispoto’s attorney Friday afternoon was not immediately returned.

At the time of the two-alarm blaze, 12 minors and two adults were arrested, according to the Mercury News. Mountain View Sgt. Saul Jaeger told the paper that students from surrounding high schools and colleges were engaged in "heavy drug and alcohol use" at a house party on March 7 and the following weekend.

Magilligan would only say that the investigation is ongoing, but as of Friday, Dispoto is the only person charged as an adult related to the fire, which essentially destroyed the house.

Magilligan also wouldn't comment on whether any one was charged related to a 2013 Audi A4, which was stolen from the house and later recovered.

He added that Dispoto and the homeowner's son are about the same age.

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