Brooklyn Park Man Charged with Arson After House Fire
A Brooklyn Park man was charged with arson after a fire destroyed a garage and part of a Brooklyn Park home last week.
Jaz Roberts, 22, was charged with first-degree arson for allegedly starting a fire at a group home in the 6400 block of Georgia Avenue on May 9.
According to the criminal complaint, Roberts was a resident at the group home.
A witness told Brooklyn Park Police that around 3:30 p.m., they saw Roberts exit the group home to sit on a couch in the garage.
The witness saw Roberts start the couch on fire, according to the criminal complaint. He then used his sweatshirt and a log from a neighboring home to fuel the fire, the complaint said.
Other residents in the group home began to smell thick smoke and called 911.
Firefighters Threatened at House Fire
Firefighters and police were dispatched to the home.
“Officers were informed while en route that a couch was on fire in the attached garage and that firefighters on scene were having trouble with one party and requesting additional squads,” the criminal complaint reads. “As officers were speaking with witnesses, [Roberts] picked up a large stick and began approaching the firefighters with it. [Roberts] was instructed to sit on a curb across the street so firefighters could do their job.”
Video footage from a neighbor’s Ring camera also captured the incident.
Brooklyn Park police arrested Roberts and found a lighter in his pocket. Officers booked him in the Hennepin County Jail. He remains in police custody.
Hennepin County District Court set his bail at $100,000.
Court records show Roberts was on probation after pleading guilty in assault and robbery cases. He has also faced multiple civil commitment cases in mental health court.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames, saving a majority of the living space at the group home.