Teen suspect in Pagoda arson arrested with gas container

Teen suspect in Pagoda arson arrested with gas container

Credit: Sara Skillings

Firefighters on the scene of a fire at the Pagoda structure in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park.

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 25, 2011 at 2:25 PM

TACOMA, Wash. – A 15-year-old boy, suspected of burglarizing and setting fire to the historic Point Defiance Pagoda was arrested last Wednesday with a container of gasoline in his backpack.

Ruston Police stopped the boy at 1 a.m. as he was riding his bicycle in the direction of Point Defiance, according to Tacoma Police.

Prosecutors are charging the boy with first-degree arson for the April 15 fire, The News Tribune reports. He’s also being charged with second-degree burglary and second-degree malicious mischief for a break-in on April 6.

The pagoda in the park's Japanese garden was built in 1914 and is a replica of a 17th Century Japanese lodge. It accommodated up to 200 people for weddings, memorial services and parties.

Metro Parks Tacoma says it plans to restore the building as soon as possible.
 

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