published: Friday, May 03, 2013
SPD: Convicted arsonist set two trucks on fire
By SCOTT DRESSEL
SEBRING -- A man with a history of arson has confessed to starting two fires and trying to start another, according to the Sebring Police Department.
Jason Brandon Wagner, 32, told investigators he set fire to two vehicles in the parking lot of Yogi Bar -- the second one Wednesday night -- and also broke into a neighbor's house and tried to start a fire in the oven last year, SPD reports said.
He was booked into the Highlands County Jail Thursday on one count of attempted first-degree arson, two counts of second-degree arson and three counts of burglary.
Wagner came to the attention of police when SPD Officer Yulier Ortega spotted him in the crowd on Wednesday using his cell phone to video the second vehicle fire. Wagner was in prison from Nov. 21, 2008 until Sept. 30, 2011 for arson and aggravated assault, a search of Department of Corrections records show.
"The officers on the scene did a good job of being observant and recognizing that an individual in the crowd was filming (the fire)," said SPD Commander Steve Carr. "That's a known characteristic of arsonists, so it was worth following up on."
On March 28, a truck was set on fire in the parking lot of Yogi Bar at 536 N. Ridgewood Drive, causing $1,000 in damage. The fire was started in the driver's seat.
In Wednesday's fire, the vehicle was a total loss with more than $8,000 in damage. Fire Marshal Miles Davis determined that that fire had started in the area of the driver's seat.
While conducting crowd control at the scene, Ortega saw Wagner recording the fire with his phone and asked him to move back. Ortega reported that Wagner was "acting strange," so he asked for identification. Wagner reportedly "spontaneously stated 'I did not start that fire.'"
On Thursday, Wagner was brought in for questioning about the fires. He reportedly confessed to setting the car fires, using papers from the console as kindling. He told investigators he had left the bar and checked several cars in the parking lot until he found one that was unlocked. After starting the fire, he went across the street and waited until first responders arrived to start taking video.
On June 10, 2012, Sebring Police were sent to 1622 Dinner Lake Drive in Sebring when somebody noticed a "skinny white male" walking around the home with a flashlight and knocking on the door.
When officers arrived, they found Wagner, who matched that description and was carrying a flashlight, walking in the side yard of 1655 Dinner Lake Drive.
Wagner reportedly told police that he had been checking on his friend's house because he said the friend had told him he thought "someone might be staying inside."
Inside, officers found all the stove burners were on and the oven was on broil with several items -- a paper towel, a can of oatmeal a plastic drink cup and a bag -- inside.
Wagner, whose story changed several times according to the arrest report, told police he hadn't gone inside, then said he had gone inside through an open door in the laundry room, then again said he hadn't gone inside.
The homeowner told police that while he did know Wagner, he should not be inside the residence.
Wagner also reportedly confessed to breaking into the home when he was questioned on Thursday, stating that the homeowner owed him money so he broke into the house, drank a beer, and then placed the items in the oven and turned it on. He said he later changed his mind and called police.
(by: Blindman~ - 5/3/2013)
Apparently this guy drinks before he starts fires. How pathetic!
Lock-um-up (by: That Metal Guy - 5/3/2013)
This guy obviously cannot cotrol himself, ive never heard of cure for piromania, so lock him up and leave him there. If the jails too full cut loose some pothead and let-um go home and eat Fruit loops. The piro's gotta go before he kills someone.
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