The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, June 22, 2021 1:00 am

Arson alleged in blaze near Mad Anthony

Felony count filed against man police say had keychain lighter

DEVAN FILCHAK | The Journal Gazette

A 20-year-old Fort Wayne man has been charged with felony arson after fires were set Friday near the parking lot behind Mad Anthony Brewing Co.

Aaron Chason was also charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest after he allegedly ran from an officer, who was investigating fires in the area of Broadway and Taylor Street. Another person, who has not been charged, also ran from police.

Chason allegedly ditched a backpack he was wearing before he stopped and put his hands up. Chason later reportedly said he ran because he had a cigarette, which is illegal for people younger than 21 to possess.

He was found to have a keychain lighter hanging from his pants. Chason later told police that he and another man were walking around with kerosene, which is an accelerant, and they lit multiple things on fire, including a dumpster, a truck and a fence, according to court documents.

The men also tried lighting a stack of wooden pallets on fire, he added.

Chason and his accomplice both poured kerosene on items and lit them on fire, according to court records.

“The defendant stated in the interview that the items ignited were simply targets of opportunity,” the documents stated.

Deputy Fire Chief Aaron O'Connor said Monday there is not a “salient connection” between Chason and other fires in the area. The investigation is ongoing.

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