Salt Lake City man arrested after allegedly sending estranged wife photos of her home on fire

File photo: Pixabay/Diego Parra

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 9, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A man was arrested Saturday after allegedly sending his estranged wife photos of a fire he had set at her home.

A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake City said Sengathith Rattana, 37, is facing charges of aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; burglary of a dwelling, a second-degree felony; and criminal mischief, a class B misdemeanor.

Saturday at approximately 4:45 a.m., the estranged wife of Rattana called emergency services to report that the suspect had sent her pictures of him setting fire to her home, which he does not live in, the statement said.

“The victim was not home at the time that Sengathith lit the fire and had not been home when he had illegally returned to the house on separate occasions throughout the night/early morning,” the statement said. “Sengathith had barricaded the doors to the home and had kicked out the window screen on the second floor after he lit the fire to escape.”

Rattana was allowed to do laundry at the house Friday, but was told to leave once he was done.

“He did not and continued to return to the house throughout the night while the home owner was out with the intent to commit the felonious arson,” the statement said.

He allegedly intentionally set fire to clothing, which caught the adjacent wall and floor on fire, hence the aggravated arson charge, the statement said. That charge is enhanced due to the habitable structure. The criminal mischief charge stems from the fact that he allegedly damaged the screen and the property used to barricade the doors.

Rattana was transported to the Salt Lake County Jail with his bail set at $30,000.

The suspect was charged in April with threat or use of a dangerous weapon in a fight, a class A misdemeanor, intoxication, a class C misdemeanor and disorderly conduct, an infraction.

That probable cause statement, also from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake County, said the suspect “was involved in a verbal argument with his wife in which he attempted to cut his wrist with a pocket knife. When officers arrived Sengathith was sitting outside his house with a machete. Sengathith told officers that he wanted them to shoot him.”

Officers had to fight Rattana to get him into handcuffs, and during the fight
he was Tased, the statement said. The suspect admitted to drinking several shots before the argument with his wife.

The divorce of the two is now pending, the most recent probable cause statement said.


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