Homeless man arrested for starting fire in house, fleeing the scene

Apr 9, 2023, 7:07 PM | Updated: Apr 10, 2023, 5:30 am


A Davis County man pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges of animal torture and posting videos of the torture on YouTube.

SALT LAKE CITY — A man was arrested for lighting a fire in the basement of a Salt Lake City home and fleeing the scene Saturday afternoon.

Marcus Richards, 39, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on a first-degree felony charge of aggravated arson and misdemeanor charges of failing to stop at the command of law enforcement and possessing a controlled substance, according to the affidavit.

First responders responded to a fire inside a house on Ashton Avenue and noticed smoke from the basement.

While firefighters were combating the fire, Richards was seen by first responders existing a basement window and leaving the scene, according to the affidavit.

“(Richards) was told by the incident commander to stay on scene,” stated the affidavit. “(The suspect) spontaneously uttered the words ‘I lift a few sticks on fire.'”

Firefighters found a small fire in the basement that caused damage to the house.

According to the affidavit, Richards fled and was located by Salt Lake City police officers a few blocks from the scene. Officers commanded him to stop moving and raise his hands, but he refused multiple times.

After some time, police were able to place Richards into custody without further incident.

“A search incident to arrest yielded a syringe containing a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine,” stated the affidavit.

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Homeless man arrested for starting fire in house, fleeing the scene