Make your home page

Man released after arrest for allegedly setting fire in lobby at northwestern Indiana jail

Surveillance video at the Lake County Jail in Crown Point on June 5, 2023, shows a man entering the lobby of the jail shortly before noon and walking around it, pouring the accelerant from a container and lighting it into a trail of flames before he quickly leaves the lobby, (Image from Provided Video/Lake County Sheriff)

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — A 26-year-old man has been released after being misidentified as the person who walked into a northwestern Indiana jail, poured an accelerant on the floor and started a small fire, court records say.

Charges against the man were dismissed Wednesday, according to court records.

The charges were dismissed because the detective filing the charges believes the man was misidentified as the perpetrator, according to a motion to dismiss filed Tuesday.

A judge granted the motion Wednesday, according to court records.

Surveillance video showed a man entered the jail lobby, doused the floor with gasoline, lit a stack of papers on fire and then tossed them on the floor, sending fire across the lobby. It was quickly extinguished.

No one was injured.

A jail consultant estimated fire damages at between $6,500 and $8,500, a probable cause affidavit said.

A witness told police that before the fire, the man came up to her at the front desk and spoke erratically about the current and previous governors of Indiana and President Joe Biden. He was carrying a gallon-sized jug filled with a yellow liquid, she said.

Crime Map
Use Search Bars Above To Search Crime Data