A man faces multiple charges after deputies interrupted him trying to burn down a house with his wife and her elderly aunt trapped inside yesterday.
Darin R. Thomsen, 48, is charged with first-degree assault on a special victim, arson, domestic assault and assault on a law enforcement officer.
Thomsen’s wife called 911 about 1:30 a.m. Dec. 6 from her home in the 7900 block of Arnote Road in Pleasant Valley. She said her estranged husband was in the house when he was not supposed to be and was threatening her with violence. Out of fear for her safety and that of her 78-year-old aunt, she barricaded them in a bedroom. Then she began to smell smoke.
When deputies arrived, they could smell something burning. The victim yelled from the bedroom window for help. Thomsen came onto the front porch, refused to follow deputies’ commands, and went back inside the house with the door open. He struggled while deputies tried to detain him, kicking one of them. A large dog in the home also had become aggressive and was attempting to bite deputies during the arrest. They were able to get it safely shut away in another room.
Once the suspect no longer presented a threat, Pleasant Valley firefighters were able to evacuate the two women and put out the fire that had been started in the living room. It had burned a cabinet and painting and was making its way up the wall toward the ceiling before firefighters extinguished it.
Detectives located multiple accelerants and lighters in and around the house. Thomsen also had a torch lighter in his pocket. An investigator from the Missouri Department of Public Safety’s Division of Fire Safety determined the fire was started with an accelerant and was intentional.
Both women told deputies they were in fear for their lives during the incident.
Thomsen is being held on a $100,000 bond in the Clay County Detention Center.
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