Charge dropped in Cary culvert fire

Tristan Zammit
December 18, 2013 8:04:03 AM PST
Wake County prosecutors have dropped a charge against a Cary teenager accused of starting a fire that caused part of Cary Parkway to collapse earlier this year.

In a court document obtained by ABC11 Wednesday, prosecutors say they're more concerned about recovering restitution for the damage than pursuing a criminal case against Tristin Zammit.

Zammit was 17 when he allegedly started the blaze in a culvert March 21. He was charged with intentionally setting fire to grass, brush lands or woodlands.

Cary Parkway between Two Creeks Road and Lake Pine Drive was closed for weeks while workers dug up the road and replaced the culvert that collapsed because of the heat of the fire.

The Cary High School student confessed days later and a search warrant showed investigators believed Zammit was trying to burn his name into the side of the pipe, which was coated with flammable tar to prevent rust.

The incident caused $480,000 in damage.

Court records show he has other cases pending for misdemeanor assault, larceny and felony breaking and entering.

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