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Colo. police: Man set fire to home during arrest

Police used both a TASER and bean bag gun to subdue the suspect, who had fled onto the burning trailer

By Pierrette J. Shields
Daily Times-Call

LONGMONT, Colo. — A 38-year-old man is suspected of setting fire to a trailer on the 200 block of South Main Street on Tuesday morning after officers tried to arrest him on an outstanding warrant, according to Cmdr. Jeff Satur.

Thomas Hibdonn was arrested on suspicion of first-degree arson and cruelty to animals, Satur said, adding that other arrest charges are pending. Two birds in the trailer died in the fire, he said.

Satur said officers went to the trailer in a small mobile home park behind the businesses on the east side of Main Street on Tuesday morning looking for Hibdon to arrest him on a failure-to-comply warrant. Satur said the trailer's owner, who was not present, had given police permission to enter the trailer. Officers confronted Hibdon at the front door, Satur said, but he was uncooperative and threw an as-yet-unidentified object at the officers and retreated as one officer fired a Taser at Hibdon and missed.

Firefighters were waiting outside because they had been called to standby for possible emergency medical services, Longmont Deputy Fire Chief Jarrod Vanlandingham said. While officers were inside, firefighters noticed a window had been broken and smoke started to drift from the inside of the trailer.

Police tried to coax Hibdon out as the fire grew. Satur said he crawled out of a small bedroom window and onto the roof of the trailer. An officer fired a beanbag round at Hibdon and hit him and Hibdon then lay flat on the roof.

"They continued to negotiate with him as the fire burned underneath him," Satur said.

He jumped off the roof, took a fighting stance, and officers shot him with a beanbag a second time. He was then arrested, Satur said.

He said Hibdon is considered to be a transient but had apparently been staying in the trailer for about five months. Its owner suggested that the cluttered trailer might include items hazardous to emergency workers, so investigators were proceeding carefully, Satur said.

Vanlandingham said once the scene is considered safe, investigators will continue work.

"It is a suspected arson," he said.

Copyright 2013 the Daily Times-Call

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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