ASU Student Accused of Torching Ex-Boyfriend's House

A Tempe man received an urgent text message from his roommate on Thursday: Your girlfriend broke into the house, and she's upset.

Not exactly the sort of news anyone wants to hear. 

Claudia Rose Drinnan, an Arizona State University student and sorority sister, was ticked over something — it's not clear what. But Drinnan put the lives of her former beau's three roommates in danger, cops say.

About 2 a.m. on Thursday, all three roommates at the condo near Hardy Drive and Southern Avenue heard banging on the bedroom window of Drinnan's ex-boyfriend. They could hear a female's voice but couldn't make out any words. The pounding kept up for about a minute, then stopped. Then came the sound of glass breaking.

That got one of the men of the house up out of bed. He saw Drinnan climbing into his roommate's empty bedroom, according to court records. That's when he sent the text. The housemates tried to talk to Drinnan, but she closed the bedroom door. About 10 minutes later, everyone emerged from their bedrooms again, smelling smoke. Smoke was pouring out from under the room Drinnan had broken into. The door felt "hot to the touch," one roommate reported.

The victims evacuated the condo "and they observed Claudia standing approximately 25 feet north of the residence, where she was watching the burning house," records state. Drinnan then fled and was arrested about 3:30 a.m. at another residence a few blocks away.

Police are seeking six felony charges, including endangerment, burglary, arson, and criminal damage.

Internet records state that Drinnan's an undergrad at ASU seeking a degree in nonprofit leadership and management.

She was released from jail on Thursday and ordered to remain under house arrest, with electronic monitoring, until her court dates. She has a preliminary court hearing scheduled for May 22.

Got a tip? Email Ray Stern at [email protected]

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.