Shelton police: Man tried to torch his own workplace

Suspect claims he was kidnapped and forced to pour gasoline

Shelton police have charged Allister James with arson.

Shelton police have charged Allister James with arson.

Shelton police served an arrest warrant on Allister James, 31, of Ansonia on Wednesday, charging him with first-degree arson, first-degree burglary, first-degree reckless endangerment and first-degree criminal mischief.

James was being held on a $250,000 bond and is expected to be arraigned Thursday, June 18, at Derby Court.

The arrest stems from an incident that occurred on June 8. At approximately 12:30 a.m., a fire was reported at the Honey Cell factory at 600 Bridgeport Ave., near Long Hill Cross Road.

The fire department responded to Honey Cell and found fire damage to an office. However, the automatic fire suppression system was able to extinguish the fire. There were several employees inside the business when the fire started, police said.

Kidnapping claims

 

The Honey Cell manufacturing facility at Bridgeport Avenue and Long Hill Cross Road.

The Honey Cell manufacturing facility at Bridgeport Avenue and Long Hill Cross Road.

Shortly after the fire was reported, a 9-1-1 call was received from a male stating that he was recently kidnapped. Police responded to the commuter lot on Bridgeport Avenue to speak with the alleged victim.

The male, James, allegedly told police he was kidnapped at gunpoint and forced to break into his work place, Honey Cell, and spread gasoline in an office. While spreading gasoline, one of the kidnappers then set the office on fire, he told officers.

EMS was also on scene and transported James to the hospital for injuries sustained by the fire.

Shelton police detectives, the Shelton fire marshal and the State Police Fire and Explosion Unit responded to conduct an investigation.

Detectives were unable to validate James’ claim of being kidnapped and, based on their investigation, determined that he was responsible for the intentional fire, according to police.

 

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