There seems to be a wave of arson rolling through Oklahoma. On Monday, we told you about the Midwest City skate park that was set ablaze:
[VIDEO] NEW AT 5: “I see stuff blowing up.” Cell phone video captures the moment fire crews respond to a blaze at a Midwest City skate park ramp. Fire major confirms police are now involved in the investigation @kfor pic.twitter.com/y6JWUdE41J
— Lili Zheng (@lilizhengTV) November 23, 2018
Tulsa, always trying to one-up the rest of the state, took things a bit further. From KJRH:
TULSA — A woman is being held without bond after Tulsa Police say she set fires at two fast food restaurants.
Lyza Vagin is charged with two counts of first-degree arson, endangering human life and trespassing after forbidden.
Officers said Vagin was kicked out of the McDonald’s near 18th and Garnett Sunday night for trespassing. They said she is banned from the restaurant.
Shortly after, employees of the fast food restaurant called 911 because the back of the restaurant was on fire.
TPD said the employees were able to give them a good description of Vagin, who is the person they said started it.
“She is an individual we have had quite a bit of contact with,” Sgt. Robert Roloff with Tulsa Police said. “She has been homeless for the most part but she has been banned from over here at the McDonald’s for causing problems.”
Police searched the area for Vagin and found her at Taco Bell directly across the street. They said she smelled like smoke and McDonald’s employees identified her as the suspect. She was arrested.
When officers went inside the restaurant to see if she left any evidence behind, they said there was a fire in the women’s bathroom.
Mick Cornett just wanted us to eat off the Fresco Menu, and of course the 918 has to take things to the next extreme and just burn down their fast food restaurants. Typical.
In all seriousness, this is another story that highlights Oklahoma’s struggles with mental health and homelessness. The woman accused of these crimes is clearly suffering from both problems (which are inextricably linked), and now she faces time in prison. It’s possible this situation could have been avoided if it were easier for her to find resources and a support system.
Our outgoing administration has largely turned a blind eye to the state’s mental health and homelessness problems. Will Kevin Stitt be a force for change? Yeah, I was laughing before finishing that sentence too. But it’s a serious issue, and until Oklahoma faces it with serious solutions instead of thoughts & prayers or “bootstrap” economics policies, things ain’t gonna get any better.