WEST JORDAN, Utah, March 6, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Police found seven rifles, three handguns, four Molotov cocktails and a bow at the home of an arson suspect who refused to surrender to police Monday afternoon during a SWAT standoff.
Christopher William Baron, 45, was arrested on suspicion of one count of first-degree felony aggravated arson, one count of second-degree felony possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, four counts of third-degree felony possession of an explosive device and one count of third-degree felony burglary.
A probable cause statement issued Tuesday said: “A search of the home found seven rifles, three handguns and a bow. In the attached garage officers found what appeared to be four Molotov cocktails. These are bottles that appeared to be filled with a flammable substance with an improvised fuse. A K-9 trained to detect accelerants responded and indicated on all four of these bottles. When Baron was asked about these bottles he indicated that they were bombs he made, but never used.”
The probable cause statement said that as officers were investigating the fire, which was set at a trailer near Baron’s home in the area of 8430 S. 3900 West, on Country Squire Drive, a K-9 trained to detect accelerants responded to the location of the fire and indicated on one spot where it was believed that an accelerant was used. Officers identified Baron as a person of interest and attempted to make contact with him at his home Sunday.
“While at his home, officers observed Baron inside walking around with what appeared to be a handgun,” the probable cause statement said. “Baron wouldn’t respond to the officers’ request to answer the door.”
The SWAT incident began at about 2:30 p.m. Monday at Baron’s home.
“We were trying to apprehend an arson suspect from last night,” Sgt. J.C. Holt, West Jordan Police Department, told Gephardt Daily.
“Baron was seen walking to his mail box carrying a handgun,” the probable cause statement goes on. “Officers made call outs to Baron and he turned and fled to the rear of his home and ran back into the rear door and barricaded himself inside.”
By 4 p.m., SWAT personnel were preparing for the first stage of the operation, which was to gain entry into the home.
At about 5:45 p.m., SWAT members made their way inside.
A search warrant was served at Baron’s home and he was taken into custody.
Baron stated after being advised of his rights that he went into a trailer near his house on March 4. He said that while in the trailer he found kerosone and he poured some of it out and then used a lighter to start the trailer on fire in several areas.
While checking into Baron’s criminal history, it was determined that he was convicted of a felony three aggravated assault with a plea in abeyance on Aug. 28, 2017.