Friends of Logan Valle say they were shocked to learn that the Falmouth teenager was charged with breaking into two houses while naked Saturday night while his family’s home was burning a couple of miles away.

But at the same time, they said the former honors student and lacrosse player had gotten in trouble before, engaging in destructive behavior that has derailed the life of an otherwise bright and mild-mannered young man.

Valle, 18, entered no plea at his initial court appearance Monday and is being held on $10,000 bail at the Cumberland County Jail in Portland. He also is being held for allegedly violating his probation from a juvenile conviction, though such records are confidential if they are not felonies.

Valle is accused of forcing his way into two homes on Fieldstone Lane while naked late Saturday and trying to get keys to steal a vehicle. About the same time – 10:45 p.m. – the fire was reported two miles away at his parents’ home on Inverness Road, police said. They say they don’t know how Valle got to the Fieldstone Lane homes, though they did find some of his clothing near there.

Valle broke into one house and grabbed a set of car keys, then ran out to the driveway to try to start the car, said Falmouth police Lt. John Kilbride. But he had the wrong set of keys and when the car didn’t start he allegedly forced his way into a neighboring house. Valle knew at least one of the homeowners, Kilbride said.

Officers found Valle hiding in a basement crawl space, police said. They later found his car at the Falmouth Country Club parking lot, not far from the Inverness Road house. Somebody had tried to set the car on fire.

The fire that destroyed the house at 12 Inverness Road was reported by a neighbor who saw flames at 10:45 p.m. Nobody was injured in the fire, though a family dog was missing.

Investigators with the state Fire Marshal’s Office were interviewing police and firefighters Monday to get a better understanding of how the house burned as they try to determine what caused it. They have made no determination of whether the fire was accidental or intentional, said Sgt. Joel Davis.

“There’s not a whole lot left of that house,” Davis said, and that makes determining a cause more difficult. “This weather didn’t help us at all,” he added, referring to the rain and freezing rain that fell Monday.

Fire investigators have not yet interviewed Valle, he said Monday.

Valle appeared Monday in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court in Portland wearing an orange inmate top and yellow pants. He appeared thin and slightly stooped as he entered and left the courtroom. He answered softly when asked by District Court Judge E. Paul Eggert whether he understood the charges against him: burglary, theft and criminal trespass.

Neither prosecutors nor the judge mentioned that Valle’s home, a large house owned by his parents, was being destroyed by fire around the time Valle was arrested. Valle has not been charged in connection with that or with what police said was an attempt to set fire to his Chevrolet Tahoe. The car belongs to Valle’s parents but he was allowed to use it.

A woman who attended the court hearing on behalf of the Valles but did not identify herself said Logan Valle is a good person and his parents are suffering deeply. Efforts to contact his parents were unsuccessful. A woman reached through a friend’s cellphone said the family did not want to comment.

‘I’M JUST SHOCKED’

Friends described the Valles as a tight-knit family. Kevin Valle is a dentist. He and his wife, Lisa, have three sons and a daughter.

Logan Valle, who graduated from Falmouth High School last spring, was a good kid who got mixed up in bad things, friends said.

“He was just a normal kid. We used to hang out a lot,” said Joel Boehm, a friend since they attended Falmouth Middle School together. “I’m just like shocked about what happened (Saturday) night.” Boehm said they would swap texts occasionally, just checking in, but Valle stopped texting about a week ago, he said.

Boehm said Valle was not loud or obnoxious but not a loner, either. While Valle was growing up, his family seemed to care for him and about him and he was supportive of them as well, Boehm said.

But in his senior year he got mixed up with kids who used drugs. That had an impact on his schooling, his family and ultimately his health, friends said.

“I think anyone not in those bad crowds realized he needed to change his life a lot to have a productive future,” said Nate Wolf, who had been friends with Valle, though he hasn’t had contact with him lately. “Obviously, this situation is kind of what we all feared would happen and it’s just a culmination … of him being drawn to the wrong path.”

Others felt his behavior Saturday night was uncharacteristically outlandish.

“When I read the article I couldn’t believe it,” said a longtime friend, Jack Bagonzi. “He wasn’t like a bad kid whatsoever. … This is just not something he would do.”

Bagonzi said the behavior was so out of character that he is convinced Valle was using hallucinogenic drugs, though he has no direct knowledge of that.

Several friends said Valle left school for about a month last year for some kind of treatment, though they could not say for certain what it was.

Peter Bouchard is a neighbor whose daughter and stepson have been friends with Valle. Valle used to visit Bouchard house regularly until he lost that privilege because of his behavior, Bouchard said.

“It’s a tragedy. The family is going through hell,” he said. “They’ve lost their home and their son was arrested and they’re sitting back and imagining he still might have been the cause of this.”

Bouchard said the weekend’s events were not Valle’s first episode of erratic behavior.

“He needs some intervention,” Bouchard said.

Bouchard introduced Valle to Tim Sylvia, the mixed martial arts fighting heavyweight champion from Ellsworth, and arranged for him to spend 20 minutes chatting with the champ before a bout.

“Tim talked to him about cleaning up his act,” Bouchard said.

CONFLICT ESCALATED

Conflict between Valle and his parents had been escalating recently. Police were called to the house twice last week to keep the peace, though the disputes were primarily verbal and there were no criminal charges, said Kilbride, the Falmouth police lieutenant. He said Valle’s parents have been very cooperative with authorities.

Valle told the judge that he previously had a lawyer who was retained to represent him for his juvenile cases but would need a court-appointed attorney now. Eggert appointed Portland lawyer Robert LeBrasseur to represent Valle.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating not only the house fire, which destroyed the $600,000 home, but also the attempt to set fire to the Tahoe.

Police said Valle so far has not answered their questions.

After Valle’s arrest, police took him to Maine Medical Center in Portland for evaluation.

“He wasn’t talking. He was extremely cold. … We were concerned for his physical health and for his mental health based on the incident itself,” Kilbride said. After a few hours at the hospital, Valle was booked into the Cumberland County Jail.

The fire at the Falmouth home displaced its owners and left one of their three dogs unaccounted for.

While neighbors continued to search for the family dog Roxy, friends established a fund to help the family deal with immediate needs such as food, clothing and a short-term place to live while insurance is processed, according to the Falmouth C.C. Valle Family Fund, which can be found at: www.gofundme.com/vallefamily.