Evelyn Alvino: Florida woman who torched psychiatric hospital and took selfie arrested
PINELLAS PARK, FLORIDA: A Florida woman has been arrested 18 months after she allegedly set a former psychiatric hospital for children ablaze, before taking a selfie in front of the burning building. Monmouth County, New Jersey, investigators have arrested Evelyn V Alvino, 20, from Pinellas Park, Florida, following a lengthy investigation.
Alvino was arrested in November and subsequently extradited to New Jersey to face arson, burglary, criminal trespassing, and criminal mischief charges. She had reportedly burned the building down in the aftermath of her break-up with her boyfriend.
Alvino was described by her friends as someone who would "'do anything to hurt someone without any regard." She caused over $3.5 million in damages to the Arthur Brisbane Child Treatment Center. The building had to be demolished after the fire in 2020. To put out the blaze, firefighters from over 11 firehouses in Wall Township had to be summoned.
Investigators searched social media and found photos of Alvino trespassing and spraying graffiti on the center. She then started the blaze using an accelerator, extensively damaging the structure which was used to treat emotionally disturbed children. At the time when the building was set on fire in 2020, it had been abandoned for almost 15 years.
Detectives claimed that the the building and structures in the area had been burglarized before the fire was started. Pictures on Instagram posted by Alvino allegedly showed other people joining her in trespassing the facility. "They advised that [Alvino] asked to go to the Brisbane Center to 'destroy the building," an affidavit stated, NJ.com reported. "[They] posted several pictures of themselves trespassing and spraying graffiti on the Brisbane Center, placing themselves directly on the premises."
Alvino flew to Florida after posting on social media that she 'almost caught charges'. A warrant was issued for Alvino subsequently. The same year, Alvino was arrested at her home in Pinellas Park by members of the US Marshals Service and the Pinellas Park Police Task Force. "Several pictures on social media clearly show Evelyn's intent and mindset," an affidavit states. "Evelyn is known in her friend group to have a 'terrible temper' and will 'do anything to hurt someone without any regard," it added. "She is also reported to have no regard for the law and/or safety of others."
When the fire was started, there was concern over the fact that it could spread to nearby woods and a public park. "Several vendors responded to replenish the firefighters' food/water in an effort to restore energy after hours of fighting the fire," the affidavit states. "When looking at the building, it appeared to have graffiti sprayed on the entire building."