Suspect sets himself on fire during attempted arson
A man lit himself on fire while trying to start a blaze at a Kentucky barbershop, according to the Madisonville Police Department. Now he’s being laughed at by people all over the country as numerous websites display the surveillance video.
Madisonville police detective Chester Haynie said Thursday that the department is following up on some tips it received about the identities of the arsonist and his accomplice.
“For the exposure, it hasn’t been as much as I thought it would be,” Haynie said. Police aren’t close to making an arrest, but Haynie said the tips are helping.
The video was posted on the the department’s Facebook page Monday as it initially asked for help identifying the two involved in the attempted arson at Barbers on Arch Street. Employees called police Monday when they noticed the odor of fuel near a broken glass door, according to the Madisonville Messenger.
The pair pulled up in a white van, according to the video and police. After a woman got out of the van and shattered the glass door, a man got out of the van with a flaming container, presumably a bottle, that he aimed at the barbershop. He went back to the van and emerged with a second flaming bottle that set his leg ablaze. He then ran toward a neighboring yard, losing a shoe.
Undeterred, he went back to the van for a third flaming bottle that he pitched at the building before the pair drove off.
“(Molotov cocktails) seem like a quick and easy way to cause problems,” Lt. William Poe said in a news release obtained by the Messenger. “But any improvised explosive device is extremely dangerous — and this is a prime example of why you don’t play with fire.”
Once posted, the video itself blew up. Media and other websites across the country posted it. It was shared widely on social media, often with little accompanying factual information. No matter. The video entertained others.
Those who might help identify the van, which appeared to be a Ford Windstar, are asked to call police at 270-824-2121 or Hopkins County Crime Stoppers at 270-825-1111.