Monday, June 25, 2018

Arson Suspect Arrested After Allegedly Barricading Victims Inside Home

Posted By on Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 10:34 AM

click to enlarge Humboldt County Sheriff's Office - FILE
  • FILE
  • Humboldt County Sheriff's Office
A Myers Flat man is being jailed on suspicion of arson of an inhabited structure, false imprisonment and threats to commit a crime.  According to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, on Saturday Michael Jay Merriman, 66, allegedly became angry with his neighbors in the area of Orchard Way and Boy Scout Camp Road when they declined his invitation to visit him at his residence nearby.

Merriman allegedly threatened them, then barricaded the door to their residence and attempted to light the residence on fire. The residents managed to escape and put out the fire with a garden hose. Merriman was later taken into custody "without incident."

From the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office:

On June 23, 2018, at about 9:50 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence in the area of Orchard Way and Boy Scout Camp Road in Myers Flat for the report of a male subject intentionally setting a residence on fire while occupants were inside.

When deputies arrived on scene, they found burned objects still smoldering outside of the residence. Deputies learned that 66-year-old Michael Jay Merriman was known to the occupants and had approached them that night inviting them to join him at his residence nearby. When the occupants declined the invitation, Merriman reportedly became angry and began threateningthem. Merriman then reportedly barricaded the door to the residence, trapping the occupants
inside, and attempted to light the residence on fire. The occupants were able to escape and suppress the fire using a garden hose.

Personnel with the Myers Flat Volunteer Fire Department and Cal Fire arrived on scene to ensure the fire was extinguished and the residence was safe.
Merriman was later located at a nearby residence and taken into custody without incident. Merriman was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of arson of an inhabited structure, false imprisonment and threats to commit a crime. 
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Linda Stansberry

Linda Stansberry

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Linda Stansberry was a staff writer of the North Coast Journal from 2015 to 2018.

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