Crime Watch 8

Arsonist caught on camera lighting dumpster fire that damaged east-side church

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An accused arsonist is behind bars after being caught on surveillance video setting a fire on the east side of Indianapolis. It happened on East 10th Street near Rural Street.

The man lives in an apartment attached to a home on East 10th Street that sits just in front of the dumpster that was caught on fire. The surveillance camera’s on the house watched him as he tried to set the fire multiple times even catching him going to the near by gas station to fill a gas can up to ignite the flames.

It was early Wednesday morning when the man’s landlord heard noises coming from his apartment. He says he was slamming a baseball bat against the floor.

“I seen him about 12:30. I was still laying here awake and I seen the flashing on the bathroom wall that is the only reason I got up,” said the landlord.

The landlord says he didn’t think much of it because he has had issues in the past with his tenants making loud noises all hours of the night, “then two up front have an issue with each other.”

About an hour after he had told the man to calm down, he noticed something strange in his window.

“I am laying here in bed awake and he makes more noise, keeping me awake, and I see the flashing on my bathroom wall. That is when I get up out of bed, walk out there and that is when I saw the dumpster fire,” said the landlord.

He ran across the street to fire department and crews were able to put out the fire within 15 minutes.

Surveillance cameras on the house catch a man, who the landlord has identified as his tenant, walking up to the dumpster and trying to set it on fire.

The man makes four attempts to set the fire. After the fire doesn’t catch the first two times, he is seen on video walking to the nearby gas station to fill up a gas tank before dumping it into the dumpster and walking away.

The fire caused damage to the detached garage and the back of the church that is right behind the dumpster.

The landlord said that there have been three other fires set in recent months in that same alley, but because of his surveillance cameras he does not believe it is the same man that set them.

Due to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s active investigation they would not confirm the man’s identity or release any further information about the incident.

This story has been corrected to indicate the fire was on the east side.