Teen arrested in American flag burning incident at SC school

(Source: WPDE)

SOCASTEE, S.C. (WCIV/WPDE) -- A 17-year-old boy was arrested Monday afternoon in connection to a flag burning outside an Horry County school that happened earlier in the day.

Nick Newell, identified by the ABC affiliate in Florence as a student, was arrested around 1 p.m. at a home on Indigo Creek Boulevard. The affiliate did not identify which school Newell attends.

Several American flags were burned in the predawn hours of Monday morning at the entrance to St. James High School in the Socastee area.

According to Lt. Robert Kegler with Horry County police, the burning happened around 2 a.m. but the flags were discovered when security arrived for the school day four hours later.

Officials reviewed surveillance videos from the school, and a suspect was seen doing things that caused concern to law enforcement officials, Kegler said.

As a result, the Horry County Police Department's Bomb Squad was called to the scene. The Bomb Squad is on scene at this time and the school has been evacuated.

Horry County police arson detectives and Horry County fire investigators are also there.

Reporters at the school say students are getting on school buses to be transported. The school was locked down at 8:30 a.m. as a precaution and no one is being allowed on the property. A telephone message was sent to all parents.

Parents of the high school students are being allowed to pick their kids up from St. James Middle School, according to Teal Britton with Horry County Schools.

Britton is asking parents to have patience with the dismissal process, because they have students from two schools on one property.

No students are allowed on the high school property. Students who drove themselves to the high school are not allowed to get their vehicles yet, but parents can pick them up at the middle school.

Newell was charged with third-degree arson, according to Horry County's online court records.

He will have a bond hearing at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

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