A local man was arrested early Monday morning after barricading himself in a Brook Street residence that was not his own and setting fire to a mattress before fleeing, according to Keene Police.
Justin Fleming, 32, no address listed, was arrested at about 3 a.m. on a felony warrant for arson, as well as two drug-related warrants out of the town of Hillsboro, according to Sgt. T.J. Derendal. Fleming’s arrest took place after he allegedly fled the Brook Street residence, leading police on a search that lasted hours.
Around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, police responded to an apartment at 46 Brook St., following a report that a man had barricaded himself inside a room in an apartment occupied by associates, who left the apartment when Fleming began to barricade himself. They were both found outside unharmed by the time police arrived. Derendal said the suspect, later determined by police to be Fleming, was armed with a hatchet and a knife.
He said that Fleming allegedly set fire to a mattress, causing enough smoke to make officers back out when they attempted to enter the apartment. The Keene Fire Department was called, and using thermal imaging technology, was able to determine that the fire had been extinguished. Fleming is believed to have fled the property prior to the arrival of police, according to Derendal.
The N.H. State Police K9 unit was called in to help track Fleming, but he managed to evade them for several hours, Derendal said. He was eventually found on Pitcher Street and placed under arrest. He did not possess any weapons when he was taken into custody, according to police.
Fleming is being held at the Cheshire County jail. He is set to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Cheshire County Superior Court.