ELKHART — A man was arrested on a warrant for attempting to commit arson after an in-depth investigation from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department.
Larry Haines, 46, was arrested Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 27. It was the second time he was arrested in connection to an incident that happened May 16 in Baugo Township.
According to the probable cause affidavit filed for his initial arrest May 17, Haines kicked in the door of his ex-wife’s house in the 57000 block of Best Avenue and began spraying lighter fluid throughout the house and on her.
“I’m not afraid to catch you on fire,” he yelled at the victim as he pressed the ignition switch on a propane torch, creating sparks, according to a second probable cause affidavit filed for Haines’ arrest warrant.
The victim tried to run out of her bedroom, but Haines grabbed her by the arm. The victim was able to grab a metal baseball bat and hit Haines to break free from his grip.
As the victim ran to a friend’s house, Haines followed her, sparking a torch and threatening to kill her.
At one point Haines grabbed the victim by her hair and said, “Don’t call the cops. ... Or this will be worse on you.”
Haines’ ex-wife broke free and reached her friend’s house, so Haines got into his truck and drove around the area. While talking with police, the victim was able to identify a vehicle that was driving around the area as her ex-husband’s.
Police arrested Haines after stopping his vehicle. Haines denied being at the victim’s house and told the officer he was just in the area to visit a friend.
The officer could smell the lighter fluid but was unable to find the lighter fluid or the torch that the witness indicated.
The sheriff’s deputy also went to the victim’s house and was able to detect a smell of lighter fluid throughout the house. The victim suffered minor irritation on her chest area where the lighter fluid touched her skin.
The probable cause affidavit showed that Haines was initially arrested on probable cause of burglary, but the prosecutor’s office filed a declination of charge.
“An additional investigation is necessary before formal charges are appropriate,” read the file. Haines was released from custody May 22.
Upon further investigation, the prosecutor’s office filed formal charges of two counts of burglary as a Class A felony; attempt to commit arson resulting in bodily injury, a Class A felony; intimidation, a Class B felony; and battery by means of a deadly weapon, a Class C felony.
A warrant was issued for Haines’ arrest Aug. 21. Haines is booked at the Elkhart County Jail on a $250,000 bond.
Haines’ initial hearing is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 30, with the magistrate.