Man sets home on fire over eviction - KMSP-TV

Man sets home on fire over eviction

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GLENN DALE, Md. -

A man facing eviction in a bitter divorce held Prince George's County sheriff's deputies at bay Thursday morning before allegedly setting his Glenn Dale house on fire.

No one was hurt and the man gave up as flames began shooting through the roof.

David Clarence Coley was supposed to leave his home Thursday, but when an eviction team attempted to force him out, the man refused to leave. That is when trouble started and the sheriff’s office was called.

The pictures from SkyFox show the intensity of the fire. It consumed a large portion of the upper level of the house before firefighters could attack the blaze and get some water on it.

Three women who were in the house escaped without injury.

The man who was ordered to leave initially refused to come out, claiming he was a sovereign citizen and he had weapons.

That is when a hostage negotiator with the sheriff’s office began talking to the man through the front door.

"When we started getting statements of ‘I’m not coming out’ and that sort of thing, she immediately switched into negotiator mode and began to communicate in the same way that you would in a hostage or barricade situation,” said Col. Darrin Palmer of the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office. “So she really employed her talents and skills to best try to resolve the situation.”

Fire officials say the house sustained about $80,000 in damage and charges are pending.

Although there was a report of a shot fired inside the house, it's unclear if that actually happened.

The sheriff’s office says none of its deputies discharged their weapons and no one saw the man leave the house in possession of a weapon.


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