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Barricaded man allegedly sets fire inside apartment

by Steven Mross | September 15, 2021 at 4:03 a.m.

A local felon on parole was arrested late Monday after allegedly barricading himself in a vacant apartment on Pratt Street and starting a fire after repeatedly calling 911 and hanging up.

Randy Dewayne Crisel, 44, who lists a Plateau Street address, was taken into custody shortly before midnight and charged with a felony count of arson, punishable by up to six years in prison.

Crisel was being held on a $2,500 bond and was set to appear Tuesday in Garland County District Court. He was previously convicted on Jan. 14, 2014, in Pulaski County on felony counts of theft by receiving, breaking or entering, fleeing, criminal mischief and escape and sentenced to 10 years in prison with an additional five years suspended and later paroled.

According to the probable cause affidavit, shortly after 10:30 p.m. Monday, Hot Springs police responded to the apartment building at 110 Pratt St. for a welfare check on a man, later identified as Crisel, who had been calling 911 numerous times stating the police "needed to hurry." He would then hang up without providing any information.

While walking up to the building, officers heard the fire alarm sound from inside and were met on the porch by the building manager, Christopher Garvin, who had visible injuries to his arms.

Garvin told them they needed to arrest someone who had started a fire upstairs. The officers followed him to the second-floor hallway which they noted was "engulfed in smoke."

Officers quickly evacuated the residents of approximately 10 rooms on the second floor and they saw Crisel exit the room the fire initially started in. Garvin reportedly confirmed Crisel was the one responsible for the fire so they took him in custody at that point.

Garvin said Crisel had barricaded himself in a vacant room so Garvin attempted to check on him. He managed to force the door open enough to see a mattress engulfed in flames. He noted he was able to kick the door in and grab "the flaming mattress" which he threw off a second-floor balcony, "likely saving the entire building," the affidavit states.

Garvin sustained burns on his arms and was treated on scene by LifeNet paramedics who had responded.

Later after being read his rights, Crisel was asked why he started the fire and he allegedly stated he "had to get the fire department there faster." It was reportedly confirmed Crisel was the same suspect who had called 911 numerous times.

Print Headline: Barricaded man allegedly sets fire inside apartment

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