Coatesville curfew citations postponed

February 8, 2009 8:03:42 PM PST
If you thought Coatesville police would be hitting the streets in full force at 8:00 p.m. to enforce the town's new curfew for teens, think again, it just didn't happen that way.In response to the arson outbreak, 23 fires since the New Year, another 29 intentionally set in 2008, city officials promised a crackdown tonight, beginning with teenagers.

An already mandated 10:00 p.m. curfew for those under 18 was supposed to be lowered to 8:00 p.m. tonight, but nothing ever surfaced, so plenty of teens were seen on the streets.

Shortly after 8:30 p.m., patrol cars were seen roving the streets, one after another, but that appeared to occur only after repeated phone calls from Action News inquiring about what was or was not going to occur.

A city spokeswoman first told Action News, the curfew was being delayed until this Friday to give parents more warning, but later phoned to say the curfew was still on for tonight, and that officers would likely issue warnings instead of fines.

No teens have been officially tied to the fires.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey plans to be in the southeastern Pennsylvania city of Coatesville on Monday to discuss the arson problem there.

Since the beginning of the year, 18 fires in Coatesville and five in nearby areas have been determined to be arson.

Casey is to meet with Coatesville's elected officials and the city fire and police chiefs. Investigators from state police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also plan to attend the meeting.

In addition, the senator is to meet with people whose homes were destroyed in the fires.

Coatesville is about 35 miles west of Philadelphia.

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Associated Press contributed to this article.

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