Local News

Teen Charged With Bus Fire

Posted February 14, 1996 6:00 a.m. EST

— February 15, 1996 - 3:41 p.m. EST

Cumberland County deputies have arrested an 18 year old male in connection with recent school bus vandalism.

Greg Pena was arrested, and later released on a $5,000 secured bond. Two other teens are expected to be arrested later this week in what officials are calling "a crime of hate and ignorance".

Early this week, several buses at Bill Hefner Elementary were found splashed with racist graffiti and one was completely destroyed by fire. The incident capped off a year of vandalism since the school was built.

Cumberland County Sheriff, Earl "Moose" Butler says there is evidence the same teens are responsible for earlier episodes of vandalism last February, and that Pena already stands accused of a September bus burning incident.

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"We're looking into several of the fires we think [these teens] were involved with simply because of the way the fires were set," Butler said.

He added that he doesn't have any reason to suspect gang activity.

In all, seven Cumberland County school buses have been destroyed over the past year, resulting in thousands of dollars worth of damage. As a result, the buses are now being parked away from school property after school hours.

When asked about a motive, Butler said the only thing Pena had said so far was that he was bored