Man accused of threatening residents, setting fire inside garage

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - St. Joseph County Police arrested a man after he allegedly lit a fire inside a residential garage and then threatened the home's occupants, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Christopher Johnson was arrested on the following charges:

  • Two counts of arson (attempt to commit)
  • One count of criminal mischief
  • One count of invasion of privacy
  • One count of intimidation

On Tuesday, officers with the St. Joseph County Police Department responded to a report of suspicious activity in the 25000 block of Rolling Hills Drive.

The caller initially told dispatch someone was hitting their bedroom window but called back when someone allegedly threw an unknown object at the window.

When an officer arrived, he found a person matching the caller's description of the suspect walking around outside the home.

The person, identified as Christopher Johnson, said the home was his and that he was going to kill everyone inside if they didn't leave, reports said.

As he walked toward the house, he said they were all going to die tonight and that he would kick in the door, police said.

The officer tried to stop Johnson from going up to the house but he allegedly ignored orders and tried to kick open the door until he was detained.

The officer found three knives and three lighters during a search of Johnson, police said.

He also smelled gasoline coming from Johnson and smoke from an unknown location near the house.

Another officer located a smoldering box sitting in the garage that had been set on fire.

A gas can was found near the fire and the garage smelled like gas, reports said.

During the investigation, officers also found vehicles with slashed tires and a broken bedroom window on the property.

A woman at the home said Johnson did not live at the residence anymore, as she had served him with a protective order three weeks before.

When she was sleeping, the woman heard what sounded like the garage door opening but didn't think anything of it.

She then started hearing thuds coming from her window.

As Johnson was being arrested, he allegedly became angry and threatened to harm one of the officers, saying, "I'll find you when I get out," reports said.

On the way to the St. Joseph County Jail, Johnson told police, unprompted, "I came and got them, I'm going to set your [expletive deleted] on fire, too," according to police.

He told the officer he would get him when he got out of the handcuffs and, as they passed a cemetery, told the officer that's where the officer would be, reports said.

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