A Tempe man set his own apartment on fire Friday night, tried to blame the blaze on his next-door neighbor, and then laid down on the ground in front of the burning building and started screaming, according to court documents obtained by New Times.
When police got to the apartment at 1444 South Stanley Place in Tempe, 29-year-old Jason Moniodis was on the pavement in front of the building complaining that he couldn't breath.
Next door, police located his neighbor, Nicole Curley, who said Moniodis dropped by her place earlier in the evening. She said she wouldn't let him in and told him to leave because he was "always bothering her."
Moniodis left, but not for long -- about 10 minutes later he returned and broke Curley's kitchen window. Curley looked out of her broken window to find Moniodis standing there, at which point he yelled, "You just started a fire in my house you fucking bitch."
Curley rushed outside to find Moniodis standing in front of his apartment as it went up in flames.
Another neighbor of Moniodis', whose apartment is connected to the alleged fire-bug's, saw him in front of the apartment about 11 p.m. smoking a cigarette and drinking. About 20 minutes later, the man told police, he heard yelling and the apartment was on fire.
Fire officials later determined that the fire was started on purpose, allegedly by Moniodis, when he set a couch and a love seat on fire. According to his neighbors, Moniodis was the only person who lived in the apartment, and he never had visitors.
Moniodis denied setting the blaze, but apparently he wasn't too convincing -- he was booked on one count each of arson, criminal damage, and disorderly conduct. Additionally, he was booked on three counts of endangerment.
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