JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A man who claimed someone attacked him then set fire to his house now faces a charge of arson.
Jonesboro police arrested Jonathan Earl Wilson, 37, Friday afternoon just hours after he reported another man had beaten him with a flashlight before setting fire to his house in the 2400-block of Greensboro Road.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Craighead County District Court, investigators discovered several fires had been started throughout the house. All of the fires were "determined to be caused by human intervention," the court records stated.
Investigators also noted finding several bags of photos and Wilson's personal belongings placed away from the fire.
Three witnesses told police Wilson ordered them out of the house that morning, claiming "he was going to set everything on fire and the cops and everyone else could watch it burn," the affidavit stated.
The girls left the home. When they returned an hour later and opened the front door "heavy smoke" poured out.
The girls ran out of the house and immediately called 911.
According to the court documents, Wilson resisted when officers arrested him and "began struggling after being handcuffed and threw himself on the ground." After he was placed in the patrol car, Wilson reportedly "began slamming his head on the shield of the car and had to be restrained and transported to St. Bernards by ambulance."
District Court Judge David Bolin found probable cause Monday to charge Wilson with arson, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
Initially, Wilson claimed a named suspect had come to the house and the two had argued.
Wilson said the man attacked him with a large metal flashlight, hitting him over the head until the flashlight broke, leaving a two-inch gash to the top of his head.
After the alleged attack, Wilson said he "must have passed out" briefly because the next thing he knew his bathroom and kitchen were full of smoke. His attacker, according to the initial report, had left the scene.
The responding officer notified the Jonesboro Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division and turned the scene over to Fire Marshall Jason Wills for the fire department's investigation.
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