LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Court documents paint a strange, disturbing scene of the day a man tried to set a Lafayette home on fire and then heavily threatened officers.
Court documents say 31-year-old Jesse Freels made threats against his mother, who was living in a home on the 100 block of Eastland Drive.
Freels' sister had originally reported to police that Freels left voicemails on their mother's phone threatening to kill her or to get even with her, and to make her beg for her life.
Police responded to the home on Friday, March 1.
Police said Freels tried to kick in the door of the home before going to the backyard and pouring gasoline on the deck. That was about the time police and fire crews arrived on the scene.
Officers approached Freels, at which time he yelled at the officers to leave. They said Freels threatened to light a match if officers didn't leave, and asked police if they had ever seen anyone die. The officers said he threatened to light the whole house on fire if they didn't stay back, asking them if they were ready to die.
Officers say Freels repeatedly admitted he had matches on his person, and they said they smelled a strong odor of fuel coming from Freels and the wooden deck on which he was standing.
Police and fire crews doused the area with water and arrested Freels.
Police found a matchbook containing two matches and a propane tank near the home with the valve completely open.
Court documents say Freels didn't stop threatening officers there. After he was detained, he began yelling derogatory names at his arresting officer, saying he would go after this officer's wife after he was released.
Freels also told a police sergeant he was going to kill him. Freels reportedly told the sergeant he was going to make him watch as Freels killed his wife and cause her to die a slow death.
Freels is facing several charges, including attempted arson and intimidation.
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