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Colorado man prepares criminal defense against arson allegations

A man whose residence caught fire as officers were attempting to arrest him on an outstanding warrant has been arrested, and he now faces multiple charges. Colorado police suspect that the man purposefully set fire to his mobile home in an attempt to resist arrest. He is now charged with arson as well as cruelty to animals, and other charges against him are pending as he prepares his criminal defense.

According to the report, officers went to the mobile home park with the intention of serving the man a failure-to-comply warrant on charges that were not specified. Even though the owner of the park was not present, police claim that they got permission from the owner to search the man's trailer at an earlier date. When police arrived at the trailer, the man supposedly instantly attempted to avoid the officers.

Purportedly, firefighters had also been called to the mobile home park in case emergency medical services were needed, and while the police officers where inside, the firefighters noticed a broken window with smoke coming out of it. Police officers claim that they continued to attempt to coax the man out of the trailer when he climbed on top of the roof. Ultimately, police state that they had to hit the man with a beanbag twice before he could be arrested safely on the ground.

The man now must prepare his criminal defense and face charges of first-degree arson, cruelty to animals (because two birds were inside the residence) and other charges pending against him. In order for Colorado prosecutors to prove the first-degree arson charge, sufficient evidence will have to be presented in court proving that the man actually did start the fire himself. If this evidence is not forthcoming, then the charges against the man may be reduced or even dropped from the court record entirely.

Source: Officer.com, Colorado Police: Man Sets Fire During Arrest, Pierrette J. Shields, Nov. 20, 2013

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