Cotton Man Charged With Arson, Assault on Deputy

A Cotton man has been charged for allegedly starting his neighbor's house on fire and assaulting a deputy. A Cotton man has been charged for allegedly starting his neighbor's house on fire and assaulting a deputy. |  Photo: St. Louis County Jail

Updated: November 07, 2018 04:36 PM

A Cotton man has been charged in connection with the arson of a neighbor's home and an assault on a St. Louis County Sheriff's deputy.

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The criminal complaint said 44-year-old Wade R. Johnson faces four charges, including arson, theft of a motor vehicle, damage to property, and assault of a peace officer.

Firefighters and deputies responded to 4956 Comstock Lake Road on Sunday around 1pm. They found a fully engulfed structure.

A second call came in from the same area on Comstock Lake Road, stating that the man who started the fire was having a verbal argument with his parents.

When the first deputy arrived, he said that he found Johnson and Johnson's father sitting at the kitchen table. When the deputy ordered Wade Johnson to stand up and put his hands behind his back, Johnson reportedly reached for a knife on his belt. He then allegedly lunged at the deputy. 

The deputy reported using his taser, which had no effect. He then resorted to hitting Johnson with his fist, and then he was able to place Johnson in handcuffs.

The complaint said Johnson resisted arrest while being placed in the squad car.

According to authorities, the deputy had an injury to his hand afterwards.

The owner of the home that was destroyed by fire reported to authorities that he left the home at 8:30am, and had locked the doors. His truck was also missing from the driveway. Authorities found it in a nearby gravel pit, with heavy damage. It had been driven into the side of a dump truck.

The parents of the defendant told authorities that they returned home and saw the neighbor's house on fire. They also found their son inside their home, and reported he was drunk and bleeding.

Johnson allegedly admitted to them to setting the fire.

According to court records, the judge ordered a mental evaluation. Bail was set at $50,000.

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