Police: Homeless man accused of lighting makeshift home on fire, trapping occupants

Dec 29, 2022, 5:44 PM
(KSL TV)...

WEBER COUNTY, Utah — A homeless man is accused of lighting a makeshift home on fire and trapping the occupants because he thought his wife was cheating on him.

Dustin Howard Smith, 41, was booked into the Weber County County Jail for three felony charges of aggravated arson, one felony charge of possessing a firearm, three misdemeanor charges of unlawful detention, and misdemeanor charges of possessing a deadly weapon with intent to assault and the threat of violence, according to the affidavit.

On Wednesday at approximately 3:50 a.m., Weber County Sherriff’s deputies arrived at a weapon disturbance call on 1365 S., 1900 W in Marriott-Slaterville, Utah.

Deputies found the suspect in a makeshift home inside the bridge and placed him in custody without issue. Police also detained the man, who called police and two other women to gather more information.

The complainant told police that Smith was accusing him of having an affair with his wife while she was staying in the complaint’s makeshift home, according to the affidavit. A second woman was also staying in the complainant’s home.

While the three were sleeping in the complainant’s home, they began to smell gasoline and worried they spilled some inside.

According to the affidavit, the complainant noticed a flame from a lighter or torch near their door. He attempted to open the door, but it was locked from the outside.

“He then heard the voice of Smith requesting his wife exit and speak with him,” reads the affidavit. “[The complainant] stated he had to break the hatch door open with an axe due to him and the other parties being locked inside.”

Meanwhile, Smith’s wife heard a torch clicking several times but saw no flames. The complainant did see flames near a crack in the door. According to the affidavit, the occupants were able to open the door and attempted to speak to Smith to calm him down. However, Smith threatened the complainant saying, “if you come down here I will put a plug in you.”

The complainant told police that Smith does carry a revolver and threatened him in the past with it. Smith’s wife confirmed the complainant’s statements about Smith’s gun threats.

Police found a loaded revolver on the ground a few feet away from the complainant’s home, matching the one Smith is known to carry. Smith is restricted from owning or handling a firearm.

Deputies also found gloves worn by Smith that had a strong odor of gasoline and a butane torch on his person while they detained him. The affidavit did not mention any conversation between deputies and Smith.

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Police: Homeless man accused of lighting makeshift home on fire, trapping occupants