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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.

Comment on this Story

  • Larisa

    You should all know that Dylan was claimed innocent, all charges were dropped, and he graduated this year. He never did anything wrong. He’s going to our local college to begin his career in acting. Have a nice day.

  • It does not matter if he is a good person or not. It was threat to the school it had over half of the students saying ” where is he gonna start shooting at in the lunch room where a quarter of the stundents will be” a friend of mine said. He may be a good student and son but the fact is there has been numerous shootings in the last few years including all of the people wounded and killed at sandy hook elementry school the students,staff and teachers. The wound was still open and still is that no good person 29 people lives and not saying the people who were not hurt they will emotional scared forever they are scared to go to sleep at night because of him, i don’t say this a lot but iam glad he is dead. I am sorry for his family although he took his mothers life also. I think and this is my opioion i think he should be made to go to juvinal hall and made to classes for this rage he has aginst society whether it was because the world was gonna end that is a bs excuse and sould not be aloud to set foot on any school grounds ever again whether he has children in the future or not. I know this may sound harsh but it is what i feel and no one on this site will tellme otherwise the way i see it is he has had this in the back of his mind the whole time and just waiting for the perfect time to release it and see it spread like wildfire yes and no one can change my mind although i did not go to school on friday it was senior skip day for the seniors who had senior project and that was my excuse for not going to school friday for winter break.

  • vinstantkarma

    Not until we hold Parent’s responsible for the actions of “their” Children will this madness stop. Start with attendance figures, grades and diciplinary record. School Districts submits Student’s Records to the County and State every year. Parent’s are taxed local, State and Federally based on “their” Childs performance and behavior.

    If we educate our Children in academics and not moral’s…were educate a menace to Society.

    Send this to your Senators and let’s out the blame where it belongs.

  • Guesttenheimer

    …and unfortunately, this was Dylans goal in spreading such a threatening rumor. He wanted a few extra days on break. He’s going to get them now, likely through suspension.

    There are people here supporting Dylan and stating this has gone overboard. “He’s just a kid…”, “The school is BS…”, “Dylan is a great guy…”, “Dylan wouldn’t hurt a fly…”. Had his proposed scenario occurred, these kids wouldn’t be so quick to call thier “BS” comments and state that the school officials have gone overboard. They would be in a state of absolute shock and dismay, not unlike the souls that survived the Columbine and Sandy Hook mass shootings. They would be haunted with visions of their murdered schoolmates, burned forever in their minds without relief. Situations like this cannot be taken lightly or ignored. It’s an unfortunate fact that some of these threats come to a grim reality.

    My biggest hope through this situation is that the other students realize the impact of Dylans behavior, the seriousness and the fear this kind of action strikes in peoples hearts. I hope these comments that disparage the school officials and law enforcement just aren’t thought through very well as a knee-jerk reaction. If not, we will encounter more young idiots that have no regard for their school, their parents and their fellow students. That’s the shame, disgrace and reputation that Dylan has brought upon himself. I just hope there aren’t other student that want to share that with Dylan.

  • Vog46

    I don’t know this kid.
    He started a hoax at a time when the country is HYPER sensitive and susceptible to over reacting to the threat of school violence.
    If he admitted to it then he’s GUILTY.
    I don’t care if he’s a good kid – I’m sure he is.
    He broke the law (one I had never heard of).
    Give him credit for being “good” and sentence him appropriately (suspended sentence, probation, being a crossing guard at an elementary school whatever).

    One thing we have to remember – our nerves are raw. The kids in Ct were infants really – not high school students. High school students? Keep this in mind.
    We are nervous and on edge – a perceived threat is very REAL to us right now and you and your younger brothers and sisters are no match for a Bushmaster assault rifle.
    And while no one was hurt by your hoax, it was ill-timed and showed a drastic lack of respect and common sense. You will unfortunately pay the price for our raw nerves.


  • Guest CommonTater

    is it acceptable, in your opinion, to weed out the nuts? Should we look into it before they kill 26 people you think? It’s always so interesting how when somebody goes off the deep end and hurts people that the family and friends go on about how swell they were and how they just can’t believe they were capable of such an act. pfft!

    There are lines in the sand that you don’t even joke about. If you are too stupid to realize it then it’s societies job to deal with you. Hopefully it will get through to the other idiots out there that such is not acceptable. Hopefully their idiot families and friends will learn to see the signs of a developing nutjob instead of this wonderful, loving kid…..killer. Get it?

  • Guest-Ashley Parent

    I have to agree with you 100%. Dylan is not a bad kid. He is a kid who made a mistake and he will rightfully be punished for that mistake. Please other posters refraining from throwing stones at a kid, you do not know. Out of all the comments , Not one person vilifying him actually knows him. You may notice those of us that do know him will all paint a very different picture of who he is.

  • Guest461

    …but it is a news blog and is serving it’s intended purpose. Nobody’s getting convicted here or sent to prison. People are merely expressing their opinion on the stupidity exercised by this young man just after the occurance of the nations worst child mass-murder. Bad decision…VERY bad timing!

    Sorry, but the damage has been done and Dylan needs to face the consequences. Putting parents and students in a defensive mode against a “phantom shooter” is very upsetting and counter-productive. You can bet there will be a small turnout of students at Ashley today due to the threat being posed.

    Dylan is 17 years old. Not a baby anymore and should be capable of making rashional decisions unlike this one. His name and mug shot are part of the consequences. This will help people remember him and his parents.

    Sorry, but that’s life in todays world, like it or not. Think before you act because you may not like the end result!

  • eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Because joking about shooting up a school is appropriate only a week after the Newtown shootings

  • Guestofwind

    You said, “Dylan would never hurt a fly, he just makes inappropriate, kinda twisted jokes.” I say maybe this will teach him to show a some restraint the next time he decides to open his mouth and ‘joke’. And would you please tell me exactly how are law enforcement and school officals supposed to know he is joking? You also said; “I’m glad you all help out in your community and do so much for people that you have the time to condemn a 17 year old you don’t even know to jail for a joke.” I say, What does that have to do with the topic at hand? If there is any condemnnation coming on Dylan it is by his own thoughtless and careless tongue for making ‘inappropriate, kinda twisted jokes’. People need to take personal responsibility for what they say.

  • Guestww

    Yeah right little man, I’m an Ashley student and I know Dylan and he would never harm a fly. Only reason ur not coming to school is because its a half day. Ur not scared at all, ur just using this as an excuse to skip!

  • B M

    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!

  • Guest41

    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.

  • AHSParent

    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 okay – especially the week after such a tragic day in CT and a week that we are watching so many funerals taking place each day as a result from that tragic day a week ago now. Should this kid, Dylan, be thrown in prison for life, no, but what has happened is exactly the correct action that he should face. He deserves the arrest and he will get his day in court. I only hope this will serve as a good lesson to this young man, that he will think good and hard about his actions. This Dylan is not the only one affected by his actions. I as a parent have been very concerned of my child’s safety this week, along with my whole family. What happened in CT has been my biggest nightmare for years, and for this Dylan to commit such a act of making threats, or rumors of threats to my child and all the students and staff at AHS, yes, he deserves what he has got, and I hope the judge will punish this child in a way that he learns and understands the full amount of grief and concern his actions have caused our community this week.

    Concerned Parent of AHS Student

  • Amy B.

    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.

  • anonymous

    you are an idiot kid. there is no one else involved. go to school. nothing is going to happen

  • Guest33

    Dylan is a person with feelings. Yes he messed up (like all of us do on a regular basis). Yes he should receive punishment. However if I was in his position I would not want people to rip me to shreds, he has a heart and it can break. Dylan is very insecure about himself and all this talk about him could seriously damage him. Words have the power of life and death, choose wisely.

  • Guest88

    Dylan is a friend of mine and I know his statement was purely sarcastic. Yes, his joke was a little tasteless but that is Dylan, he is just a goofy kid. Dylan may have messed up on that joke but ALL of us have messed up and ALL of us have said something that has been taken the wrong way. Dylan is only human like the rest of us. He intended no harm.

  • Guesttenheimer

    It’s a wonderful thing this threat was a hoax! Had it been real, you’d be whimpering and crying like a baby about the pointless murder of your friends, classmates and teachers while wondering for the remainder of your simple little life, “How could he have possibly done this to these wonderful people?”.

    So…there’s your “joke”, in yet another way (as you like to put it). Really funny now, huh? Tell me, “Bright Star”, does the view ever change when you’re NOT the lead dog? You are and always will be the perfect one to answer this!

  • Guest1772

    Any good lawyer or PI would have told him to keep his mouth shut and not talk to anyone about anything. Unless someone had a tape recording of what he said it is all hearsay. Sorry but that is how it works in the real world. Tell your parents the truth but listen to your attorney before you say anything to police.

  • Guest12424

    If this was such a concern to the school and law enforcement why didnt they send out one of those announcements by phone. I get a call for everything concerning football games,when money is due for something or if my child is 5 minutes late to class but this did not rank as high I guess.My daughter is a freshman there and Im ready to home school her.

  • AshleyEagleStudent

    As gangster thugs pack up, and roam the halls, groaping young girls, and bullying boys. Deputies, and staff, quickly turn their heads, the other way. It does not suprise me they would go after a safe, politically-correct, target, like Dylan.

    This is such a “Joke”, in more ways then one.

  • Lisa

    Just so you know I am close to this family and I am shocked and appalled at how some of this was handled with the school. People are cruel and making comments but since when do you question a young person and do so for 2 hours with a sherriff present and not inform him of his rights, do not contact his parents, nor realize that many students have been talking about this then tell the student if he just admits it he can go back to class. I am totally aware that we as a nation are sensitive to this subject matter due to the events in CT last week but serously this is one where if the school did nothing they would be in trouble they have questioned and bullied him into this. Scared him out of his mind. The kid wouldn’t hurt a fly and unlike a lot of young people his parents are very involved and trust me they know their son. So those that want to say cruel things do not have the facts and trust me they will be coming and so will many other things. It just amzes me that their was no common sense if it can happen to Merten it can happen to any child. Protect our child by all means but this action here is way over the line with this student I call BS! It is nice to see someone on here trying to be rational which is more than what the head staff member did when he took his action. I can’t imagine the job he has is easy but this is just wrong. A rumor is only a rumor if repeated if that is the case half the scholl should be sent home! Suspend I can see but to have him arrested just boggles the mind.

  • DisGuestEd

    You nailed it. WORDS HAVE POWER. This poor, fragile boy used his words to threaten MANY. Now, you are worried about his poor, simple soul. He has the choice NOT to read these comments. The kids and teachers at the school, had NO CHOICE! Sounds like this insecure kid needs some serious psychiatric help.

  • Get Over It

    This is just another example of the New Hanover County Sheriffs Office going over the top. Arresting a kid for spreading a rumor who clearly has no means to do what he said. I hope they file a nice little law suit, which would be an easy pay out at this point, to fund his education so he doesn’t have to return to a school where he would be wrongfully ridiculed. People should not jump to conclusion so fast. This is nothing but over protective parents freaking out when they know absolutely nothing, just out right ridiculous. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”-John 8:7

  • stratcatz

    Good kids can do stupid things, I’m sure he has learned a lesson he will never forget, and it will make him a better man. Just dont ruin his life over it, we need to encourage him and let him know that he can make a positive impact also.

  • David

    I know Dylan, he is friendly, kind, smart, and always cheery and upbeat. If he did say something about the school being “shot up”, it was most likely a joke directed towards the morons that intend to go out and do stupid things tomorrow because it’s the “end of the world”. Besides, there is little chance that he even started the actual rumor that floated around our school. Especially considering the rumor went from a gang of rednecks coming to shoot at our school, another school coming to shoot up the school, and then finally jumping between many individuals before the school in general chose to blame poor Dylan, who only posted a simple joke about violence occurring due to the end of the world. The person who spread the initial rumor should be arrested, and I’m sure Dylan’s “admitting” to the crime was just saying yes he posted the joke, and the Sheriff’s department booked him for starting a rumor on purpose and essentially ruined his life.

  • Guest33

    You people are all extremely ridiculous. Dylan is my friend, as are many other people. I know him very well, and whether or not he started the rumors, this is going to far. The school is trying to turn him into a scapegoat and it’s going to ruin a kid’s future. I AM GOING TO STAND AGAINST THIS. I personally will be talking to the school’s administration, as well as forming a petition to get him out of the situation he’s in. I will personally be at the court hearing, and I will do whatever I can in his defense. What is wrong with you people? Why must you all hammer the nail that sticks out the farthest? I’d like to see each and every one of you held accountable for the things you have done that weren’t the smartest. Thank you for your time.

  • Guest/p

    I have a daughter that goes to Ashley and she is deeply saddened and at a loss for words by everyone’s actions first and foremost Dylan’s. But what is hurting her most right now is reading the derogatory comments made in reference to this article. Let me tell you how I first became aware of what a truly kind young man Dylan can be. I work at the other end of the county and my daughter has after school activities that usually end around 4:30 pm. I am unable to pick her up until close to 6pm. Dylan has stayed with her so she doesn’t have to be alone, which had he not been there she would have been waiting on her own. I Thank him for this kindness. Why is it that we are so quick to judge and condemn everyone, do you all truly believe everyone is evil? Yes his comments were blatantly stupid, and as someone pointed out earlier, if we were not still mourning the losses in CT we probably wouldn’t be commenting here. Yes I believe he needs to learn a lesson and there should be consequences. We once again have the media to thank for making certain his name and picture are both out there for the world to see. He is not a common criminal, he is a teenager that certainly doesn’t have any common sense. I am saddened by people in general that feel they have the right to be judge and jury.

  • melloHannah

    Gee, it must be really nice to be all you guys, people who never make a mistake. Dylan would never hurt a fly, he just makes inappropriate, kinda twisted jokes. This joke was just ill-timed and got overheard by someone who thought it was true. He’s a great student, he’s an officer in the drama club, he helps out with the yearbook, he’s on the cross country team, he’s got great friends, a great girlfriend, and his life is going to be ruined by a joke. I’m glad you all help out in your community and do so much for people that you have the time to condemn a 17 year old you don’t even know to jail for a joke.

  • Marly Flick

    Im a current middle school student at Murray Middle, and alot of us ARENT GOING TO SCHOOL TOMORROW! We know he has friends and that it might not be a hoax. Its not cool to scare kids like that!

  • No Joke

    This is nothing to joke about, Only he knows if its really a joke.
    He needs to be evaluated for a year or two in a mental ward

  • mason

    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!!

  • Guest524

    Ashley Hoax – The previous posting ask everyone to look the other way. That is EXACTLY the problem now! The kids get away with everything that they do, there is no accountability. Yes, he should be punished for whatever charges are brought against him. If you do the crime, you do the time.

  • Guest 69

    While I realize no one got hurt, people must take responsibility for their actions. He needs to be arrested and punished in some way. His record could be espunged sometime in the future, but allowing this to happen without consequences will just lead to more of the same behavior from him and others.

  • Guest CommonTater

    All threats need to be taken seriously. If someone is dumb enough to say such stupid things they should be held accountable. There are nuts in the world that will act on their warped views. You do read the news right?

  • Guest461

    In light of the very recent events of violence and murder, this sort of behavior serves NO other purpose that to incite fear and panic! There’s nothung funny about it, nothing cutsie and absolutely nothing innocent about it! NOTHING can be taken for granted these days, especially knowing there are walking teenage mental cases out there that nobody addresses, just walking around waiting to explode.
    Damn right he needs to be charged and he had better learn a good lesson, very quickly! Otherwise he’ll wind up being a loser jack-ass like yourself that thinks it’s funny to walk into and airport terminal and yell “BOMB!”.

    Wake up and get a life! Things are changing quickly in this world and we have to be able to adapt quickly! Apathetic attitudes that make sarchastic mockery of reality are along the very same immature and out-of-place behavior patterns this student just displayed!

  • GuestVader

    By all means, arrest him, try him, fine him, put it on his permanent record. Ruin his life because of a bad decision on his part. Looks like the so-called “authorities” are worse than the kids these days. He has hurt no one. No wonder respect for authority is at an all time low with most everyone. It’s all about the fines and the almighty dollar.

  • GuestX

    You are an idiot,with recent news of the killing of innocent children,the nation on edge about sending their children to school.You honestly believe that the authorities are going to far in taking this threat serious.Yes he is a kid but he knew what this type of talk would create at this time,So he got what he wanted now let him get what he deserves.

  • TiredCitizen

    Don’t be dense. There are limitations on your first amendment right to freedom of speech. When you begin rumors about inciting violence at a school, and the individuals that know you best believe you to have both the capability and intent, don’t be surprised when the law comes knocking at your door. Life is real. What you say has consequences, whether they be good or bad.


    Yes, let’s do all of the above. It’s about time that students started being accountable for their actions and his threats are no joke in today’s world. Here’s another individual thinking that it is OK what this kid did. You have got to be kidding me. Wake up and realize you are part of the problem. Sheesh! Let the authorities do their job and let’s support them for a change in doing it.

  • Guest2272

    Seriously??? The kid breaks a law and you’re going to jump on authorities for doing their job??? Evidently you don’t have kids. If so, as a parent, how could you take any threat like this lightly. An over-reaction to prevent further incidents is much better than no reaction and the rumors be true. This one may have been a hoax, but.if they ignore this one what happens when they ignore the real threat?

  • Traci

    Are you kidding me? He made threats, and in light of the most recent tragedy in CT, I would think anyone would have more sense than that! And then to defend those actions?? Wow…maybe you would feel differently if it were your child that was affected. This entire nation is in mourning and we CANNOT allow these senseless crimes to continue–so yes, even to just threaten harm needs to result in punishment.

  • SecretSanta4567

    He does deserve all the punishment he gets, you are rude for the comment above. Authority is doing what it can to keep us safe after the recent events. You never know wether it was a hoax or if he was being honest, people are sick these days.

  • Guest1

    and when they let something like this slide and violence occurs, you’d probably be the first one shouting “Why didn’t they do anything.” Arrest him and make an example out of him.

  • DisGuestEd

    GuestVader, you are an idiot. Given the recent horrific events in CT, law enforcement SHOULD send a strong and clear signal to all that this type of action is intolerable. By the age of 17, one should know right from wrong.

  • parent w/ children

    apparently you have no children in school. have been hearing about the so called “rumor” all week long from mine. and even though i have been telling them (as well as myself) that it was probably just a harmless rumor…the thought of “but what if it’s not” has been in the back of my mind every morning when i drop them off.

  • Robert9129

    Were you born stupid or did you aspire to it? What they’re doing is called Zero Tolerance. What would your reaction have been if the shooter in Newtown had made prior threats and the “Authorities” done nothing? What an idiot statement yours is. Sounds to me as though you’ve had some prior experience with the “Authorities”.

  • adg1993

    The fact of the matter is, he FALSELY endangered a school (make that 3 schools) which sit side by side. Not only is it sickening that this was his best response to last weeks events, but it speaks volumes to other teens when people get away with it. Whether or not he carried it out, he threatened to do it.

  • Angewidert

    Not the first time you’ve posted something really stupid and probably won’t be your last.

    You’re turning into a miracle of modern-day science; brain dead but still typing. Amazing!

  • alcsmom

    I had a friend in high school that experienced a very very similar situation. As a joke, he mentioned something about violence at the school, was overheard, suspended for 10 days, and it was put on his permanent record. Did this teach him anything? Probably not, just put him way behind in classes he actually took seriously. My point is….it sounds like this kid made a dumb mistake and he obviously (like many young adults) wasn’t affected by last weeks event in CT like alot, most, of us were. So instead of “ruining his life”, why not give him some perspective; have him read to an elementary school class every week for the rest of the school year, make him volunteer at an afterschool program or boys and girls club til he graduates. It would teach him a lesson and maybe help facilitate the growth of a productive citizen and caring person, which is ultimately what we need to do right? Teach our kids how to care? Just a thought. As a young mom of a kid about to start kindergarten next year, it is sad to know that kids think mimicking this type of violence is funny…it is NOT funny.

  • Tracie C

    Ruining one’s life is the choice of the individual. I have four sons, two of which attend Ashley, two are grown ups. Strange, my kids and their friends took this quite seriously. None of them wanted to show up for school on Friday (please spare me the “they’re teenagers looking for an excuse to skip” – my son’s NEVER ask to stay home from school).
    “Ruin his life”??? My eldest son went to jail for minor charges and HIS life is far from “ruined”. My second son – after Columbine – made a comment to a teacher about “blowing up the school”, got suspended AND made up all his work. Hmmm, didn’t “ruin his life” either! What I didn’t do? Was make the mistake of treating their absolutely stupid choices like “dumb mistakes”.
    A “dumb mistake”?? In this day and age, a dumb mistake is forgetting your lunch. Threatening to shoot people is FAR from a “dumb mistake”.

  • tired of kids thinking this is funny

    I think it is very sad that any child would think this is funny. What a stupid and disrespectful thing to do to the students, teachers, parents and anyone else he has affected. There was a tragedy that happened last week, and then some idiots think it’s a good idea to call Walmart, Ashley High and other places, talking about bomb threats and shooting threats. I think any person who is so disrespectful and cold hearted to pull these hoaxes should definately be punished!! It is a slap in the face to the people who lost their loved ones in the tragic events that happened last week.

  • anne

    What if they weren’t just rumors? What if someone decided to do something horrible on Friday? Would you be as quick to defend him? He made a bad decision that could have had consequences. Now he has to face up to that and take his punishment. I guess it won’t feel so fun any more

  • dntworryboutithomie

    he is an idiot. my girlfriend goes to that school and i just recently graduated from there. he was always a sorta “sketched” out kid. he better get some time in jail because i am already worried enough about the threats being said and the shooting. i am already worried about my friends and girl friend being there at the school.
    he is a screwed up individual.

  • Bully!!

    It is people like you that drive kids over the edge to commit crimes like in CT. If you say **** like this then I am sure that you girlfriend does too. I bet you think that you are one of the cool kids and it’s cool to say things like this.

    Someone needs to take you out back and beat your ***! Because you parents obviously did not.

    I will worry about it and you are not my hommie. Sounds like somehow you managed to graduate but you are obviously still a child.

  • Guest2929

    This is ridiculous. You’re going to arrest someone for starting a rumor? Whatever happened to freedom of speech? This kid should sue.

    Give him some form of discipline, maybe as little as a talking to with the principal and his parents, or even a public apology to the school, but to arrest someone? Ridiculous.

  • Guest461

    Same charges, same psychotherapy, same expulsion. As an idiot to make the statement you just, that did makes you just as stupid.

    How’s THAT for “freedom of speech”, Kilroy?

  • Guest CommonTater

    your comment. Freedom of speech? He had the freedom to say what he wanted and did and now he pays for his stupid remarks. You are part of the problem…. There will be no public apology nor should there be. You should apologize for making such a stupid post.

  • guesty

    There is still freedom of speech but just like you can’t yell fire in a theater and expect no repercussions for your actions. It is called incendiary speech and that type of speech isn’t protected under the First Amendment.

  • Tracie C

    And YOUR kids will be putting kittens in the microwave. Like I told my kids and their friends the other day when they said they didn’t want to go to school: RAT HIM OUT! This was after I told them if they EVER pulled such a totally low class move it wouldn’t be the school having them arrested it would be ME!
    Maybe during his little “talking to” with the principal we should give him some cookies and a little pat on the head too?

  • RSimmons

    Does Bonnie Franklin (“One day at a time”)know her wig is missing?

  • Guest211


  • Haley

    You people are ridiculous. There have been rumors all week. From red necks shooting the school to other schools coming to Ashley to and shooting it. Dylan is the nicest most wisest guy I know. I know for fact he would never do any of this. Sure his beliefs of “the end of the world” may be known but doens’t or shouldnt be made a big deal of what has happened today. Dylan has a good heart and it’s the cruel children that attend school that made this a big issue. He has his own opinions to whether he thinks the world will end or not. This does not mean we should have ridiculed him and blamed him for the chidlren who really started this commotion. Dylan did his senior project on Bullying and was strongly against it. What are you people doing now? You’re bullying him, making up information that is not accurate. It is wrong. And as someone who knows he would not do this, people should be ashamed of themselves. Sure security has to be up tight due to the fact of the shooting last friday but we do not need to start point fingers and people who have done nothing. this is so wrong.

  • Citizen of the Republic

    “Dylan is the nicest most wisest guy I know.”

    Please expand your circle of friends.

  • Tracie Crisante

    Is that right Hayley? At this moment I am REALLY hoping you’re not one of the people my sons consider a “friend” at school. You know for a FACT he “wouldn’t do anything like this”? Yet he was crass enough to start a “rumor”, involving how many other people, after the entire country has been horrified over the deaths of all those children in CT? “WISE” people don’t make decisions like that, EVER! And before your tiny “teenage” arguments come up let me just say: HE ADMITTED IT!!!
    If you’re convinced that this kid is soooo wonderful why don’t YOU step up, go the the school administration and tell them who REALLY started the rumor? You’ll speak out here in defense of your “friend” but you won’t set yourself up to be known as a “rat” to defend him in front of the “popular” kids at school will you? Why not? Because you’ll have to do it somewhere you can’t hide? Here it’s easy, in school? LOL, not many kids have the guts.
    If he’s so stable that he wouldn’t “do any of this” why are you compelled to defend his “end of the world” stance? Maybe it’s a little…..much? Maybe his “outlook” is a little sick?
    I’m guessing his senior project didn’t teach him much now did it? Wouldn’t you think that anyone who has lost a child to a sick, demented murderer feels bullied? Don’t you think a 6 year old kid with a gun in his/her face feels bullied?
    Here’s hoping you WAKE UP before leaving high school. Unfortunately, with comments like “shouldn’t be made a big deal of what has happened today”, I don’t think you’ll never get it.

  • Guest461

    …and until then, quit smoking that crap and get your @$$ out of the fairy tale!
    The dumb little jerk ought to have enough common sense NOT to pull this rediculous stunt just after the worst elementary school mass-murder ever recorded in the US. Dylan must have the most brilliant and proud parents on the east coast. Their son will likely make the national news register with this stunt.
    Tell you what Haley brainchild, do us all a favor and take yourself with three of your very best friends, walk into the ILM airport and scream “BOMB” at the top of your lungs. You won’t have done anything wrong at all…it’ll all be alright…you can laugh and giggle until your little hairbows fall out. Promise!

  • Thomas

    She’s got a point

  • Dani

    Okay, so if the country weren’t so afraid of everything at the moment
    This would not be a big deal. All this is is a truely tasteless joke, but comedians get away with it constantly.
    This should get at most a slap on the wrist, but not anything to ruin his life.
    He is just a kid.

  • Guest123

    some of you are in La La land defending this 17 yr old & saying he is just a kid who made a joke in poor taste. He’s so kind etc.
    what is wrong with you?? This 17 yr old admitted he said someone was going to shoot up the school Friday!!! What is a joke about that?? Maybe you have missed the news where “highly intelligent, quiet” 20 yr old Just shot up a school last friday!!!!! of babies 6-7. 20 of them. was that a joke to you?

    There is nothing funny about thsi teen saying the school is getting shot up tomorrow. Now a huge number of parents and students are scared to go to their half day of school before their much looked forward to winter vacation. They are staying home scared & will be wondering all day if any of their friends will get killed that day.

    This school shooting is one of the most shocking, heart breaking things rithg here at Christmas that I have ever heard.
    There definately is something wrong mentally with this teen to start such a horrible threat towards the school.

    He needs to be mentally evaluated! that’s what we are asking for, is from now on get the mentally ill help before they kill our families. so do it!!!

    It had to be in his mind in order for him to speak it out loud!! Look at his photo, he has that glazed, unfocused look in his eyes like the other shooter.

  • Lisa

    Thank you for that I know this fine young man and trust me he wouldn’t hurt a fly and the facts will be coming out so hang in there school is trying to do a job of protecting but they did a few things wrong an scaring him to death was one of them they didn’t do what they should have in some ways but couldn’t ignore it either. You can’t believe the press releases. Sad situation for sure!

  • No one is blaming Dylan for the CT shootings it was New Jersey native. Now he mightbe a great person,son,student but that is what he wants you to see. Dylan is a sick person and needs help. I am not saying he is not a good person but he has to have a pretty twisted mind to set his plan into motion and when was being arressted he was laughing the whole time and when he was being questioned he was still laughing. He was laughing at the police officers asking him questions about the hoax!! There is not one school shooting in world that has every been ok so why would a hoax be ok?!? Well i am not judgeing or bullying as some people say were doing on here but i am only saying he needs help,and giving him a $1,000 bond and saying come to court on feburary ,6 2013 says oh were gonna realese you to public and do what you want just do not kill anyone but irs ok to start a hoax. Really thats a wise ” friend” i hope they put him away so he can get help. Sorry if i hurt your feelings.

  • Guest Horn

    “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. ”

    The kid said he started it.

  • Guest666

    If you dummies would read the story and better yet, comprehend what you read (I know that’s asking a lot) you would learn that he made no threat, only started a rumor. He should get a serious reprimand, but certainly no arrest or other legal action is warranted. I mean, the best charge they could come up with was disorderly conduct, which is a catch-all when nothing has really been done, but they feel the need to charge someone with something.

  • NHCDad

    He should’ve thought about what it did to the students that heard the rumor he started. My son goes to Murray which connected to Ashley with common wall. He came home Wednesday telling me he heard that some kids were coming to the school Friday to “shoot up the place.” So tell me how this little punk didn’t do anything wrong?

  • justin

    He was ARRESTED for starting the rumor regarding a terror-like plot. He will most likely be CHARGED with disorderly conduct or communicating threats, both misdemeanors. Deputies don’t “charge” you with a crime, they enforce and detain. The District Attorney will determine the depth of the crime and “charge” him accordingly. Unfortunately, this kid will not be made an example of – he’ll receive a slap on the wrist from the court system, and maybe a suspension from school. Earlier this week, dozens of schools were close in Michigan because of two similar incidents where kids were spreading rumors about the Mayan Prophecy and planning Connecticut-like shootings. Folks, we can’t have it both ways – many people “saw” the signs before the Connecticut massacre, but did nothing. This kid, while reportedly bright, obviously has no common sense and will have to now face the consequences.

  • Rainman

    “As an idiot to make the statement you just, that did makes you just as stupid.”

    …and your calling someone else stupid?

  • guesty

    Proofreading and fact checking are lost arts. Like the story posted here earlier this week talking about a wreck on I-40 at exit 392 in Duplin County. There is no exit 392 and at mile marker 392 one is in Pender County.

  • Grand Ole Party

    You’re…not YOUR calling someone else stupid.

  • Lisa

    I am not a child and if you had been there and met with the family today you would know some other facts. What he admitted to is not being reported correctly so please wait and see facts will be coming forth. However the school has to take action. There are always 2 sides to a story. This country has been on edge and very saddened for over a week with the situation in CT. I am glad the school looked into this they should have but they should have also called the parents in and or advised him of his rights while he was being yelled at for 2 hours. Half the student body should be suspended by now for all where talking about it and no Merten didn’t start the rumor that will be coming out but he did admit talking about it with other students and how stupid people were being that something like that shouldn’t be discussed. So just stay tuned fact will emerge but people should also watch what they say. This is a sensitive subject and rightfully so. I smile when I read your comments about making a teenage argument some of those just make me roll my eyes sometimes. Your right they do not want to be the rat but they through a boulder of BS when they can and not one person thinking about what it does to one that didn’t say or do something and then that leaves the doubt of if we do nothing we are wrong. This young man is being made an example of after many others were reported to the office and the told him “Admit you did it and you can go back to class” that is wrong!

  • Guestwwer

    And I don’t think u understand who Dylan actually is. He is as straight as an arrow. He never does anything wrong and he preformed with me in my drama group for a year and i can say with absolute certaintyis truly a kind person and would never harm anyone. And so what if he started a hoax? It does not make him the worst person in the world at all. There are plenty of worse kids at Ashley. You don’t even know a quarter of the student’s that go her so how can u know what Dylan is like. Next time think before you start being a b***h

  • Dani

    Obviously lecturing someone who cares about someone
    Who happens to make a mistake, isn’t the way to go.
    And telling minors other horrible things to do. Good job!!!
    Even you would still care for the friends go would make mistakes. Cause everyone does!

  • me

    give the kid a break. he made a mistake. all u people that want to hang him are hipocrites. cause u all know that when u were 17 u made mistakes too. u just didnt get caught. think of that.

  • sjwjw

    You know snitches get stiches right?


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