Clear Lake teens accused in cross burning incident

Nicholas Wayne Rose Soto and Zachary Neal Dollar are both charged with retaliation or obstruction

September 7, 2012 1:02:14 PM PDT
Two Clear Lake teens are accused of burning a cross in a family's front yard.

On June 14, a driver crashed through the fence at a home and left the scene without giving information. The homeowner's nephew, who attends Clear Lake High School, reportedly learned that Zachary Neal Dollar was the driver of the car. According to court documents, the homeowner called police with the information, and then Dollar and his father gave the homeowner the necessary information and paid for the fence repair.

Two weeks later, on June 28, tires were slashed and a burning cross was left in the front yard of the home where the nephew lives.

When police initially interviewed Dollar, he denied any involvement in the incident, court documents state. But shortly after, he reportedly confessed to building the cross from old fence pickets, dousing it with lighter fluid and lighting it on fire at the home. He said Nicholas Wayne Rose Soto commited the crime with him. Both teens said the other was responsible for slashing the tires.

Dollar and Rose Soto both deny that the burned cross had anything to do with race. Instead, according to court documents, they did it in order to scare the teen because they claim he attempted to blackmail Dollar, allegedly asking for money in order to keep quiet with the information about the fence crash.

Dollar and Rose Soto, both 18, are both charged with retaliation or obstruction, a felony charge.

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