Ashland Co. Man in Custody Following Alleged Arson and Attempted Homicide
On July 7, 2018, at about 12:54 a.m. Ashland police officers were dispatched to the walking trail near Walmart for a suspicious man with a knife. Dispatch also advised officers the phone of the person calling was plotting near 12th Ave. W. and3rd Street, which on the opposite side of town. Several officers traveled to Walmart while the Sergeant on duty traveled to the area where the call originated from.
The Sgt. Drove past 218 Beaser Avenue at about 12:58 a.m. and observed a flicker of a flame type light coming from the upstairs window. The flicker then erupted into a full-fledged fire. The Sgt. Notified dispatch of the fire and observed a woman run out of the building screaming. The 58 yoa female resident/victim stated her ex-boyfriend started the fire and tried to kill her. Sgt assisted the woman until EMS arrived.
Other officers converged on the fire location and assisted the other, 71 yoa male, resident/victim to safety. Both victims were transported to the hospital and treated. The female was treated for severe burns and the male for smoke inhalation. It is believed both victims will recover from their physical injuries.
Once it was determined no one else was in the home, officers entered residence looking for the suspect who started the fire. While the fire was still burning, officers searched the residence for the suspect and cleared the dwelling prior to the Fire Department's arrival.
Officers immediately began searching for the suspect whom the residents identified. The suspect turned himself into the Ashland County Jail at about 6:45 a.m. Officers interviewed the suspect who admitted to starting the fire using an accelerant. It is believed the possible reason he started the fire was because he felt scorned by his ex-girlfriend. It should be noted the suspect had been arrested on domestic abuse charges, with the same victim, two days prior to this incident. He had a no-contact condition as part of his bail.
The suspect is a 53 yoa white male who had recently moved to Ashland. His identity is being withheld until formal charges are issued.
Possible charges he could face are: Arson, attempted homicide, 1st degree reckless endangerment, bail jumping, and 2 counts of criminal damage to property.