Three teens arrested in connection with Davidson Co. fires

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Samuel Watson, Ryan Hege, Johnathon Nelson.

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — Three teens have been arrested and charged in connection with the fires that were set in Davidson County on Tuesday.

Samuel Bell Watson, 16, of Clemmons, and Ryan Ellas Hege, 16, of Lexington, face felony charges of burning an uninhabited house, factory, store and burning of personal property.

Johnathon Dwain Nelson, 16, of Winston-Salem, is charged with felony burning of personal property.

Officials say the teens were involved in the burning of the Arcadia Nursery on N.C. 150, along with the burning of 15 round bales of hay and a dumpster near Mrs. Hanes Moravian Cookie Company on Friedberg Church Road.

All three fires happened within three hours overnight and occurred within three miles of each other.

Crews first responded to both the dumpster fire and hay fire near Mrs. Hanes’ Moravian Cookies.

A third fire was called in around 1:10 a.m. at Arcadia Nursery and Garden Center on N.C. 150 near Community Road. The fire consumed the main building and an attached greenhouse. The business had been around for 45 years, according to the owner.

No injuries were reported in the fires.

Watson and Nelson are each under a $10,000 bond. Hege is under a $5,000 bond.

All are scheduled to appear in court on August 5.


  • beachtrip

    The parents are going to be responsible for any damages. Yep – these three are gonna be thrilled to meet new “friends” after their parents get through with them!

  • rough lesson

    You take a turkey baster,load it with 2ozs gasoline or kerosene,insert into rectum, as you see leakage you light the fluid and stand back !! This would be for these Punks, a learning lesson but would not be fatal !

  • DL

    I would think that these bonds need to be a little larger………this is crazy and I am sorry but if they are only 16 why are they out at that time of night???? Parents need to have some restrictions on teens, there is nothing good going on that late at night.

  • BB

    Ladies and gentlemen I know one of these gentlemen. I know of one them going through a rough time due to him losing his brother in a tragic accident and passing in his arms. Now if you folks were in the same situation you would be losing you mind at this age. Y’all judge these young men but the day comes you will be judge the same.

      • s

        I also know one of the guys and no what hes going through is no excuse for his actions, however who are you or anyone else to judge any of them. I’m sure you yourself have made mistakes.

    • Campnmom

      i know these boys and that is no excuse. Thats just like adults who use drugs and alcohol as an excuse. I’m not playing judge and jury but there is no excuse for destroying someones property. What if someone had been killed? Think about that.

    • BLH

      I wonder if you would feel the same if it was your business, your property that was destroyed. What they did was indefensible and criminal. The sad thing is that their parents have been put through pure hell that will continue indefinitely courtesy of their sons. Every member of those families will be hurt and permanent harm done to them unless these boys accept responsibility and make a change in their lives. Making excuses for them won’t help them do that.

  • ItsMYopinion

    Bons are very low for the damage these boys caused.. Not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally for the people that lost their business. So sad. Get caught with a bag of pot and your bond will be 20,000… Such a shame.

  • Bo Diddley

    BB why don’t we just let these little firebugs come stay with you. I hope your house is fireproof. Boohoo!

    • SS

      I would welcome these boys into my home. I know them and realize that they made a very dumb choice but we are fortunate no one was hurt. They are always welcome in my home!

  • Darlene Reynolds

    These kids need your prayers . Not your criticism. Don’t point fingers and be to quick to judge their parents because you don’t them. What they did was wrong , but don’t point fingers

  • susie

    they have a special place for people that are ‘losing their mind’. I can’t believe anyone would post something justifying what these goons did

  • Friend With A Hurt Heart

    I can assure you that Ryan Hege’s parents loved and raised him right. Don’t point fingers and say cliches when you don’t know. Keep your thoughts to yourself about people you don’t know. The pain this family has gone through recently doesn’t excuse actions, but don’t judge situations you aren’t familiar with. I am sure plenty of you will be going to church tomorrow. If you actually believe what you shout and preach pray for all of these families and the families affected by the fires and leave your judgement for the legal system and God.

    • Campnmom

      He just made it worse for his family though. If every person who lost a loved one did something unexceptable should we excuse it? Everyone is held accountable for their own actions.

      • Friend With A Hurt Heart

        Yeah did you read my comment? I specifically said it didn’t excuse his actions, but people who revel in others misery are pathetic and soulless creatures. Everybody’s journey is different and all of us have trials and tribulations, but if the rest of my life was determined by the way I felt and reacted when I was 16 years old I would have never made it as far as I have. This young man is a victim of a situation and yes he has made it worse, but I beg and plead that he pays for his bad mistakes and grows as a man. His family already hurts. He will be held responsible and they will continue to hurt. I pity those who react in such a repugnant way as to blame his poor mother and father. HIs parents are amazing people who work hard, love hard, and are doing everything they can to love and help their son. This young man will be held accountable by the law and I hope those who were victims of the fire are reimbursed for their loses, but our society would do well to learn forgiveness and mercy.

  • pattym

    I hope all 3 get EXACTLY what is coming to them, no more, no less. Going through tragedies does not excuse malicious and criminal behavior! I lost my husband when my our kids were just 4 and 5, did not cause us to go do such as this!

  • orange

    punk kids. they need to be locked up. get ’em off the street. They and their parents should be held accountable.

  • MomX2

    The fact that the Hege family recently lost a loved one has absolutely nothing to do with Ryan’s behavior…..he was doing drugs long before his brother passed. His family has always blamed everyone else for his behavior ….. maybe now they will open their eyes and get this young man the help that he has needed for a long time….he had problems long before his brother passed. The Watson kid has had previous run ins with the law also….it is time for these families to stop making excuses & stop blaming everyone else for their children’s problems.

    • Friend With A Hurt Heart

      I am pretty sure you know nothing of this family. The Heges are terrific people. They work hard to make sure their son gets the help he needs. You know nothing of what you speak of. You should be ashamed of your words on here. They don’t make excuses and they definitely work to make things better for their son. You obviously have no clue of what you are talking about. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes and then you can talk. Be quiet if you haven’t.

    • SS

      Are your children perfect? Mine aren’t. But as parents we do the best we can. These children made their choice and are now already having to live with the consequences. Look into your own home before you judge others. I know for a fact that yours is not spotless momx2

      • MomX2

        Never said my children are perfect or that my house is spotless…At least mine don’t have arrest records and mug shots…..probably because I don’t make excuses and blame others if they do something they shouldn’t.

    • Ruger

      Hold on Ryan’s always been a good hardworking boy. If your thinking of the Hege family and druggies you’re probably mistaking Ryan for his pottheaded cousins Kevin or Alex. There family’s been making excuses and lavishing underserved praise for him since he was a kid.That silent weirdos the one who needs “help” Ryan just got mixed up with the wrong bunch at the wrong time.

      • MomX2

        There you go…making excuses and blaming others for Ryan’s problems….Thanks for proving my point ! And yes, Ryan is a very hard working young man….that’s how he pays for his pot!

  • Angela Kellison

    When are we going to stop making excuses for our chlidren’s behvior? I think it is time to quit making excuses and start racing our kids they way most of was raised. I’m sorry at the age of 16 these kids know right from wrong and these three chose to make the wrong choice. Stop being friends to your kids and start being parents.

  • Sam

    Everyone keeps talking about “knowing these boys,” but I know the owners of Arcadia Nursery and they did NOTHING to deserve the damage to their business. Sorry for all the problems these “good kids” have had, but what about their victims? If these boys are found guilty they deserve everything they have coming, “good kids” or not.

  • Dirty DC

    I personally know all three of the boys, good kids till they get around the drugs and alcohol. It’s ashamed this happened to em but never the less everyone who knew em is not surprised.

    • MomX2

      I totally agree with you. It is truly sad that their families refuse to take off their blinders and see what these kids are really up too. They are doing these young men a great disservice by not acknowledging that they need some help. It’s not to late for these boys to turn their lives around but that is not going to happens as long as their families continue to blame everyone else and make excuses for them….so sad.

  • Teresa

    I can say I know Johnathan, and im VERY surprised over this, this is NOT AT ALL how he was raised, Prayers going out to all involved.

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