Man Arrested After Money Dispute Leads to Arson at Encampment

Police arrested a homeless man for arson early Tuesday after he sent fire to another man’s tent in a South Seattle encampment following a dispute over money.

The confrontation reportedly began late Monday evening after the 39-year-old suspect approached the victim and tried to recoup $40 he claimed he was owed. When the victim said he didn’t have the money, the suspect warned him he had until the morning to get it.

Around 6:15 AM, the suspect approached the victim’s tent in the 2000 block of 24th Avenue South and again asked for $40. When the victim told the suspect he was unable to pay, he reportedly saw flames at the base of his tent. The victim fled out of the tent and chased after the suspect, who threw a rock at the victim and threatened him.

The victim followed the suspect to an abandoned building at Rainier Avenue and Hill Street where he was able to borrow a woman’s cellphone and call police.

Officers searched the building, found the suspect hiding under a blanket and took him into custody, later booking him into the King County Jail for arson.