Man accused of arson in connection with church fire, allegedly spat on arresting officer
A Hammond man arrested Monday is accused of intentionally setting fire to an area church's charity donation building, then spitting on an officer during his arrest, authorities report.
The State Fire Marshal's Office eventually assisted in the arrest of 44-year-old Steve Oalmann.
The arrest was made after emergency crews responded to a structure fire on June 26 on North Carter Street.
"The building was owned by an area church and was used to store and distribute donation items like toiletries to the needy in the community," SMF spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue said in a press release.
Firefighters with the Hammond Police Department found damage in the bathroom of the building and then contacted the State Fire Marshal's office to assist in the investigation, Rodrigue said.
Investigators say the fire was intentionally set and originated in a plastic trash can in the bathroom of the building.
Officials were able to use video surveillance to link Oalmann to the case.
During his arrest, officials say Oalmann attempted to escape by pushing and spitting on a deputy.
Oalmann was taken into custody and booked on one count of simple arson, simple assault, and resisting an officer.