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Police: Man used toilet paper to start fire at Academy Sports store

Posted at 1:14 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-05 13:15:55-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Tallahassee man has been arrested for arson after police say he started a fire in the bathroom stall of a local sporting goods store not once, but twice.

Court documents say Tallahassee Police responded to Academy Sports on Mahan Drive regarding a suspect trespassing at the store on Friday.

The call notes provided said that a suspect attempted to start a fire inside a stall in the men's bathroom. Police say the notes also indicated that the suspect had entered the store with a lighter in his hand.

When officers spoke to witnesses, they said that the suspect exited and re-entered the store multiple times. The suspect was later identified as 21-year-old Aaron Wimes.

The witnesses went on to tell officers that Wimes had started multiple fires at different times in the men's restroom. Documents say that during both of the arson incidents, a witness caught Wimes inside the stall with a ball of toilet paper that was on fire.

The witnesses told police that they confronted Wimes and immediately stomped out the flames. Documents say the witnesses described one of the fires as being 10-12 inches high.

According to the arrest report, Wimes would leave the bathroom each time he was confronted but would return to the bathrooms shortly after.

When officers arrived on scene, they say Wimes was still walking around the store. He was detained and placed into a patrol car while officers continued investigating the scene.

During the investigation, officers found burnt evidence of burnt toilet paper on the floor in the restroom stalls.

Based on the evidence, Wimes was arrested and transported to the Leon County Detention Facility. He is being charged with two counts of first degree arson. As of Monday, he is being held behind bars on a $30,000 bond.