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Teen Arson Suspects Wanted School Canceled

Posted May 26, 2007

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— Two teenagers who face charges for allegedly trying to burn down a school told police their intent was to get classes canceled.

Wake Forest police said Jonathan Scott Pack, of Old Stone Lane Pack in Youngsville, and Clyde Joe Phillips, of Oak Grove Church Road in Wake Forest -- both 16 -- also admitted that they tried two other times to set fire to Wake Forest-Rolesville High School.

Police arrested the two Friday morning after school officials caught them setting fire to a wooded area behind the school's football practice field.

They were each charged with two counts of burning with intent to damage property and one count of attempted burning of a school.

After initially denying any involvement in the blaze, police said, Pack later admitted that he and Phillips had set the fire using oil and lighter fluid.

On May 22, the two allegedly set a fire in one of the school’s restrooms. On Thursday, they tried unsuccessfully to start a fire in the same wooded area using cologne and lighter fluid, police said.

Phillips and Pack were in the Wake County Detention Center Friday afternoon under $20,000 secured bond and mandatory release into the custody of their parents.


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  • SaltlifeLady May 28, 2007

    I wonder if police have considered if these two had anything to do with the fire and damage at Jones Dairy Elementary that occured just a few weeks ago?

  • atozca May 28, 2007

    RESPECT... something children don't learn anymore. How can they when the adults (including the media) do not set the example. We live in such a me me me society that act as if the rules apply to everyone else.

    I know of a young man who did such stupid things as a teen and when I was visiting him in jail he said "I really didn't think about the consequences.... I figured mom and dad would take care of it if I got caught."

    These guys are old enough to know better and there is NO EXCUSE for their actions. They should suffer the consequences.

    And no eldogg7, this has nothing to do with race, if you will remember correctly, it is only when the black man is perceived as the victim of a white man's crime that we hear all the pot banging. Let's don't blame race. Let's look at the real issue... a lack of moral standards and ethics.

  • anneonymousone May 28, 2007

    Eldogg, I agree. When white men do something weird or awful, it reflects on them as individuals in many people's minds. If a white woman does something weird or awful, it reflects on her as a person for the most part, but is also seen by many as a reflection on all women. If a person of African, Latino, Asian, or Middle Eastern descent does something weird or awful, it is viewed by many as a reflection of the entire ethnic or cultural group. What's up with that?

  • lollly52 May 28, 2007

    @mch12insoccer & @stefystaryo – there is another forum on WRAL concerning a 16-year-old that broke into a house and the homeowner killed him. The teenager’s friends wrote to the forum saying the same thing that you are saying about Jonathan– that he was their friend and they liked him. One of life’s hard lessons is that people are what they do and that they are judged by what they do. The best thing that could happen to your friend(s) is that they learn VERY quickly through VERY harsh punishment to never, ever commit another crime. And whatever influences you think made these two set fires, I hope that both of you are AVOIDING those influences. Thanks for writing to the forum.

  • enderby May 28, 2007

    The act is what matters, not the intent that may or may not have existed. Who cares if you know them and their parents? Useless information. If they committed arson they should be punished. Intent makes an interesting side issue, but we worry way too much about it for purposes of sentencing. Prior criminal history, if any, is much more important. Trying to burn down the school with a bottle of cologne shows a real lack of maturity, but that should not be considered if a real crime was committed.

  • eldogg7 May 28, 2007

    I sit here and read these opinions, I can't help but guess that most of these pity comments, are from white people. Lets be honest here, if these were 16 year old black kids, they would be criminals and you all would be ready to hall them off to prison for 20 years. If this truth is to much for wral's commmentary then take me off, and good ridden!!!!!

  • lostinnc2006 May 28, 2007

    They both should have their pictures posted on the back of Condoms with a caption that reads "Failing use this product may result in having one of these Screw-ups!

  • rainy39 May 27, 2007

    Now they get all the time off they want right?? And for those saying they just made a bad decision, unless you were absent that/those days, you could have been killed but guess their being your "friend" makes up for that huh? They need help and some DISCIPLINE the good old fashioned way.

  • duke1man2002 May 27, 2007


  • TriangleMommy May 27, 2007

    To everyone who is upset, saying "But these are really good kids who made a bad decision" (paraphrasing). It doesn't stop the fact that they do need some kind of help. If they really are good kids - and your friends, don't you want them to get help for this error in judgemen before they start making even more dangerous ones that get people hurt? Saying someone needs therapy is not negative - it is to help them.