Teen pleads guilty to pagoda fire in Tacoma park

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- A 16-year-old boy pleaded guilty Wednesday in Tacoma to setting fire to the historic pagoda in the city's Point Defiance Park.

The News Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/nTKFOo ) he is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 11 in juvenile court.

Metro Parks employee spotted flames about 4 a.m. on April 15 in the 97-year-old pagoda in the park's Japanese garden. The heavily damaged building had been a favorite site for weddings and other special events.

The teen was arrested April 20 after his bicycle was stopped by an officer at 1 a.m. in the morning. He had a gallon of gasoline in his backpack and a box of wooden matches.

Investigators later found text messages on his phone implicating him in the pagoda fire.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com