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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An Ashley High School student has been charged with starting rumors about planned violence at the school.

New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer says Dylan Greg Merten, 17, is charged with disorderly conduct by disrupting students after admitting to starting the rumor. Investigators arrested Merten this morning.

According to an arrest warrant, investigators say Merten created the rumor that someone would enter Ashley High School Friday and “shoot up the school.” Investigators say the statement caused students to fear for their safety and plan not to attend classes tomorrow.

New Hanover County Schools Assistant Superintendent Rick Holliday said in an e-mail to reporters that Ashley administration began hearing rumors on Monday about violence that was to occur Friday at the school.

“They began investigating immediately,” Holliday wrote. “The Sheriff’s Department was also involved. Yesterday, the source of the rumors was identified as a current Ashley student who apparently started the rumors as a hoax.”

Holliday did not identify Merten in his e-mail, but he said Ashley administration has applied “appropriate disciplinary measures.”

“The New Hanover County Schools takes all threats against students and staff very seriously,” Holliday said in his e-mail. “We will not tolerate any attempt to disrupt the learning environment of any of our schools. We would ask that community members contact the New Hanover County Schools to verify accurate information before responding to rumors.”

Mertens was released from the New Hanover County Jail under $1,000 unsecured bond. He is due in court February 6.

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84 Comments on "FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Ashley student arrested for violence hoax"

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2016 years 2 months ago

whether he really meant it or not it is time we take these nutcases serious, as in all the other murders there were warning signs, if they were taken seriously we wouldn’t be having to defend our 2nd amedment rights now!

2016 years 2 months ago

he is a really good student and when i see him he is always nice. he gets good grades also and its sad to see a good student get expelled for a rumor he started.

2016 years 2 months ago

As a parent of a current Ashley student, let me say, I’m glad this kid got arrested. My child has been scared to go to school this week, especially today and tomorrow. She or any other child should never have to be scared to go to school. Period! I do not know this young man and I’ve read the post here about him and his actions. However, the fact remains, he made a threat on over 600 students and staff. In this evil world we live today, one cannot simply say, Oh, it was just a joke and it be… Read more »

Amy B.
2016 years 2 months ago

You really need to get a grip on reality. Did you miss high school completely? Who the hell do you think you are to be so judgmental? Until you know somebody or walk a mile in their shoes you have nothing to say. I know Dylan. He has been to my home several times and i would have him here tomorrow. This boy is a wonderful person and ,once again, until you know somebody you don’t know what you’re talking about.

2016 years 2 months ago

Send him to the nut house, where he belongs! If he had any sense he would never have started such a rumor! He has made himself a threat to society and should be treated as such! Send the idiot off and never let him at!!

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