17-year-old charged in Cary Parkway culvert fire
Posted March 26, 2013
Updated March 27, 2013
Cary, N.C. — Police said Tuesday that a 17-year-old has been arrested in connection with a fire last week that forced the closure of westbound Cary Parkway for several weeks.
Tristan Zammit, of Brownfield Drive in Cary, is charged with intentionally setting fire to grass, brush lands or woodlands.
Police said a tip led to Zammit's arrest and that he has admitted to starting the Thursday evening fire in a culvert under Cary Parkway.
"Our family deeply regrets this event and the impact it has had on our community," Zammit's family said in a statement. "We are fully cooperating with the Cary police. We are deeply saddened by this incident and will continue to cooperate with the authorities."
The Cary High School student made his initial court appearance on Wednesday, telling a judge that his family won't post his bond until after the school's spring break is over next week.
Zammit also faces charges from an October incident at Cary High. Investigators say he tried to take something from a classroom after hours and then pushed a teacher in an attempt to get away.
The heat from last week's fire caused part of the culvert to collapse, forcing officials to close westbound lanes between Lake Pine Drive and Two Creeks Road for about three weeks as North Carolina Department of Transportation crews repair the damage.
About 100 feet of damaged pipe has to be removed, which requires tearing up the pavement, officials said.