Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Frisco man sets fire to home in police standoff
Police were first sent to the scene for a domestic violence charge.
FRISCO An armed suspect was arrested in the 6100 block of Frisco's Arlington Drive early Tuesday morning after an overnight standoff with police officers left a house destroyed.
Frisco police arrested William Chad Coleman, 38, and say he set fire to his house during the standoff. Originally, officers arrived at the residence in response to a domestic disturbance incident between Coleman and his fiancée.
Officers arrived at the house shortly before 10 p.m. Monday after the fiancée told them she fled the location when Coleman, a former Dallas firefighter with a prior domestic disturbance conviction, threatened her with a handgun. The woman, whose name was not released, drove to the Frisco Police Department to report the incident.
A spokesman for the police department said Coleman initially followed his fiancée but soon returned to the house.
"The incident started in the house, but when she left the house he started chasing her [in a separate vehicle]," Officer Greg Barnett said. "He tried, according to the victim, to run her off the road a couple of times, but he stopped chasing her once he realized she was coming to the police department."
The officers who first arrived at the scene reported that they saw Coleman carrying multiple firearms -- Barnett said an officer noticed "a pistol on his hip and a couple of rifles." Officers with the department's special operations unit were called to the scene after the initial response officers reported the firearms.
Officers communicated with Coleman several times during the incident through a series of 911 calls.
During those calls, police say Coleman threatened that he would come out in a "blazing fire." Officers then said they heard several windows in the home being broken, and a fire that caused several explosions began at about 12:30 a.m. in the house's garage.
Next-door neighbors on both sides of Coleman's house were evacuated from their homes and placed in police cars until the standoff ended and the house was extinguished. Several neighbors were also contacted by police via phone when the standoff began.
Barnett said officers heard at least five explosions, although he said the explosions were from common objects in the garage and weren't traps. The first explosion, which Barnett said was likely from a propane tank, was so severe that the garage door expanded outward.
Officers said they believe the subsequent four explosions were likely from tires on a vehicle in the garage.
Coleman exited the house through a window about 45 minutes after the fire began and surrendered to police without incident. He was then taken to Centennial Medical Center, where he was treated for smoke inhalation.
Following treatment, Coleman was transported to the Frisco Jail and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His bond was set at $150,000. Arson charges are pending the result of further investigation.
Criminal records indicate Coleman was arrested in 2004 and accused of beating his girlfriend at the time with a hammer. He was found guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and served four years in prison.
Neighbors said they didn't know Coleman or the victim well, noting that the couple seemed to keep to themselves.
"It's really scary that sometimes you don't even know your own neighbor," said Sharon Ambro, who lives on the same street as the couple. "[The victim] came to pick up her two dogs [that escaped the house] from us and left, but she didn't say anything -- she was visibly shaken. I'm so sad this happened to her."
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